If you have an iPhone, you can use Apple Pay for contactless payments; and only Apple Pay. The European Union (EU) wants to change that, according to French technology news site Frandroid.

The European Commission has officially announced that it has notified Apple in respect of the latter’s restrictions which prevent the use of third party services to access the iPhone’s NFC (Near-Field Communication or ‘tap and go’. Ed.) capabilities, thus restricting competition in the field of contactless payments.

Paying for a coffee with an iPhone and Apple Pay

Paying for a brew with an iPhone and Apple Pay. Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

The European Commission has informed Apple of its preliminary view that it is abusing its dominant position in markets for mobile wallets on iOS devices. By limiting access to a standard technology used for contactless payments with mobile devices in stores (‘Near-Field Communication (NFC)’ or ‘tap and go’), Apple restricts competition in the mobile wallets market on iOS.

The Commission takes issue with the decision by Apple to prevent mobile wallets app developers, from accessing the necessary hardware and software (‘NFC input’) on its devices, to the benefit of its own solution, Apple Pay.

The EU has the power to impose fines of up to 10% of Apple’s worldwide turnover ($36 bn. or €34.10 bn.) and impose changes in commercial practices, although any fine could turn out to be lower.

Finally, it’s worth noting that on Android it is possible to change the default contactless payment service. This is not possible on iPhones where Apple Pay is mandatory.