Apple to make huge Apple Pay change in EU shake-up — developers to get NFC access without Apple Pay or Wallet as company seeks to avoid massive antitrust fine

Apple Pay paying for coffee
(Image credit: Pexels)

Apple has reportedly settled an ongoing EU antitrust investigation into the way it controls access to its iPhone NFC payment system and avoided a potentially huge fine in the process. The EU took issue with the way that Apple was preventing other companies from using iPhone contactless payment systems outside of Apple Pay and the Wallet app.

Without an agreement, the EU could potentially have levied Apple with a sizable fine but that now appears to have been avoided.

The move means that Apple will open the door to third-party payment companies to use the NFC technology inside the iPhone to facilitate mobile payments for the first time.

All settled

The Financial Times reports that the European Commission had charged Apple with breaking competition laws back in 2022, arguing that the company was preventing competitors from offering iPhone contactless payments. The report says that regulators have now accepted changes that will see the charges dropped.

"These include providing developers with free access to its NFC technology on iOS devices and without having to use Apple Pay or Apple Wallet," the report explains. "Brussels officials have been testing these measures, which Apple has offered to keep in place for a decade."

The report notes that Apple is still "ironing out final technical details" of how this will all work but a settlement is thought to be likely within a matter of weeks.

Apple has already had to make a number of changes to the iPhone and the App Store as a result of the Digital Markets Act. Apple has allowed third-party app stores to be installed in the European Union, for example, but there is no sign of similar capabilities coming to other parts of the world so far.

More from iMore

Oliver Haslam

Oliver Haslam has written about Apple and the wider technology business for more than a decade with bylines on How-To Geek, PC Mag, iDownloadBlog, and many more. He has also been published in print for Macworld, including cover stories. At iMore, Oliver is involved in daily news coverage and, not being short of opinions, has been known to 'explain' those thoughts in more detail, too. Having grown up using PCs and spending far too much money on graphics card and flashy RAM, Oliver switched to the Mac with a G5 iMac and hasn't looked back. Since then he's seen the growth of the smartphone world, backed by iPhone, and new product categories come and go. Current expertise includes iOS, macOS, streaming services, and pretty much anything that has a battery or plugs into a wall. Oliver also covers mobile gaming for iMore, with Apple Arcade a particular focus. He's been gaming since the Atari 2600 days and still struggles to comprehend the fact he can play console quality titles on his pocket computer.

  • Lestat1886
    They should have kept the wallet requirement… too much regulation is just killing user experience in the name of a so called competition… Europe would have never done this if they had their own tech giants