Apple opens up NFC chip to allow alternatives to Apple Pay in Europe

In compliance with the Digital Markets Act, Apple is opening up the NFC chip on the iPhone for the first time. This will allow banking and wallets app to offer competition to Apple Pay for the first time, allowing users to choose an alternative payment system as the default app that appears when holding the iPhone near a payment terminal, as well as the double-click side button shortcut.

Developers of banking/wallet apps can apply to Apple to get an entitlement to support these features. To get approved, the developers will have to meet various industry and regulatory requirements.


If approved, a participating third-party banking or wallet app will be able to initiate NFC transactions from within their app, automatically launch when the user places their phone on a NFC terminal, and appear when the user double clicks the side button.

These apps can also suppress the system Apple Pay interfaces for appearing and interfering with the payment process.

Ever since Apple Pay launched, some banks have complained that they are unable to compete fairly with the tight integration and hardware access Apple Pay has. These changes help level the playing field, at least in Europe.

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