Germany is the first country that requires Apple to unlock the iPhone NFC chip and allow other mobile payment apps to use it, basically providing customers with alternatives to Cupertino’s very own Apple Pay.
Banks have long been asking for access to the NFC chip in order for their mobile payment services to run on an iPhone, but until now Apple refused to do so, keeping Apple Pay the one and only payment system that iPhone buyers can use.
Things will change in Germany after the country voted an amendment to an anti-money laundering law that essentially requires companies to open up their electronic money infrastructure to rivals in exchange for certain fees.
Apple is one of these companies that will be required to unlock the NFC chip in the country, and unsurprisingly, the Cupertino-based tech giant isn’t by any means happy with the change.
Others could follow shortly
In a statement for Reuters, an Apple spokesperson says everyone at the company is “surprised” at how fast the law passed, warning that unlocking the NFC chip for other mobile payment services could eventually affect “user friendliness.”
“We are surprised at how suddenly this legislation was introduced,” a company spokesperson was quoted as saying. “We fear that the draft law could be harmful to user friendliness, data protection and the security of financial information.”
While for now Germany is the only country that breaks Apple’s mobile payment monopoly on the iPhone, there’s a chance others would follow in its footsteps shortly, especially as banks across the world have been pressuring for such a change for at least a couple of years already.
Back in 2016, a group of Australian banks publicly demanded Apple to unlock the NFC chip on the iPhone to be used by third-party mobile payment services as well.