All modern iPhones have NFC chips inside that can be used by features built by Apple, but nobody else. That means that while NFC payments are possible when using Apple Pay, those same capabilities are not offered to other developers. However, that could be about to change with Apple reportedly ready to allow other companies to access its NFC capabilities.
That’s according to a new Reuters report which claims that Apple has already offered exactly that to EU lawmakers in an attempt to avoid potential antitrust fines. It’s been suggested that by not allowing other payment companies to offer their wallets on the iPhone, Apple has given Apple Pay an unfair advantage.
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In an attempt to keep regulation at bay, Reuters reports that Apple has offered to give the same NFC capabilities to others.
If this comes to fruition it could allow companies like PayPal to also take advantage of NFC technology built into iPhones. The result could mean iPhone owners being able to make payments using contactless technology via PayPal accounts, or perhaps their own banking apps rather than solely cards plugged into the Apple Pay system and Apple’s wallet app.
However, it isn’t clear whether we should expect this to actually happen. The European Commission is expected to ask key stakeholders whether they should accept the proposal, and even then there is a chance that Apple might limit this new NFC capability to those in the EU only, leaving those in other parts of the world out in the cold. Neither Apple nor the EC have commented on the report at the time of writing.