Apple’s making some big moves. All in line with the Digital Markets Act (DMA) in the European Union. They’re shaking things up in iOS 17.4, giving more options for app distribution and payment processing. This is gonna affect 27 EU countries starting from March 2024.
One thing that’s got people talking? They’re opening up the iPhone’s near-field communication (NFC) system. Yeah, the one that used to be exclusive to Apple Pay. Now, other banking and wallet apps can get in on the action.
This is a game-changer. Developers in the European Economic Area can now use an iPhone’s NFC system in their apps for contactless payments. It’s a big shift for Apple, and it’s all happening under the watchful eye of EU regulators. They’ve been looking into Apple’s alleged anticompetitive behavior. The issue? Restricting third-party access to the iPhone’s NFC tech since Apple Pay launched in 2015.
But there’s a catch. Apple’s warning about some potential hiccups with third-party payment processing. They’re saying, “For apps that use alternative payment processing, we won’t be able to issue refunds, and we’ll have less ability to support customers encountering issues, scams, or fraud.” So, there’s that.
They’ve also updated their business terms for third-party apps in the European Union. Developers will need to play by these rules if they want to use alternative payment processing. But don’t worry, Apple’s still all about user safety. They’ve outlined safeguards to keep potential threats at bay. This includes Notarization for iOS apps and authorization for marketplace developers.
The European Commission’s been looking into Apple’s NFC practices since May 2023. They’re not too happy about Apple’s alleged anti-competitive practices. They reckon that tying the NFC chip solely to Apple Pay is stifling competition in the mobile payment market.
So, what’s the deal for Apple? They’re opening the NFC system to third-party payment apps. This means they’re inviting direct competition to Apple Pay inside their own ecosystem. Not exactly what they wanted. But hey, they’re just gonna have to roll with it.