A law that should actually mean that Apple must open its NFC interface for banks as early as 2019 is to be tightened. The Bundestag passed a corresponding resolution in Berlin in the middle of the month. It was a reaction to changes that were not enough, it said from the FDP parliamentary group. Apple operated “modern highway robbery”, had the MP Bettina Stark-Watzinger towards the Süddeutsche Zeitung commented.
Has been a topic for almost two years
In particular, this concerns fees that Apple is still allowed to charge – and which apparently led to the fact that there was no demand from the financial institutions for the access officially granted in November 2019. The law, which is nicknamed “Lex Apple Pay”, was actually about the implementation of the European money laundering directive in national law.
In the Bundestag an amendment was introduced by the government factions, according to which infrastructure operators must grant access to payment services – “for a reasonable fee and using appropriate access conditions”. For Apple, the new regulation came as a surprise – the company is said to have tried to put pressure through the US embassy and the direct approach to the Chancellery, but this did not succeed.
Apple should be more flexible
However, it quickly became apparent that the change had no effect. Now, “a sharper sword” is to come – with changes to the previous legal situation. One wants to prevent “excessive fees” for the access with the changes. Left-wing MP Fabio De Masi said that Apple should not have a monopoly on shopping.
However, the law should not have been completely ineffective – apparently Apple has been more flexible since it was passed with regard to access to the regular Apple Pay service and its fees. The change that has now been adopted explicitly states that Apple may only charge fees that correspond to the costs. It remains to be seen whether the NFC interface will be fully opened directly in banking apps – this has been around for a long time on Android.