Apple is opening the iPhone's NFC chip for third-party contactless payments in the EU

Apple has confirmed that it will now allow iPhone owners in the EU to select new third-party NFC contactless payment systems when iOS 17.4 ships.

1 minute & 6 seconds read time

Apple's iPhones have featured NFC chips for years now, including the latest and greatest iPhone 15 models. Those chips can be used for reading NFC tags of course, and they are also what makes contactless payments work when using Apple Pay, too. However, Apple Pay is the only kind of contactless payment system that Apple allows the iPhone to work with - or at least, it was.

As part of a wide-ranging series of changes made at the behest of the EU's Digital Markets Act, Apple has confirmed that it intends to begin allowing the iPhone's NFC chip to be used for third-party payments for the very first time - but only in the EU. The move could potentially allow companies like PayPal and Google to offer their own payment wallets and systems to iPhone users.

Apple is opening the iPhone's NFC chip for third-party contactless payments in the EU 01

Apple's press release said that it will offer "new APIs enabling developers to use NFC technology in their banking and wallet apps throughout the European Economic Area," adding that Apple is also introducing new controls that will allow iPhone owners to select a new third-party contactless payment app and service as their default. That would then be the app that launched when double-pressing the power button rather than the Wallet and Apple Pay feature that such an action triggers today.

Unfortunately, it's important to remember that this all only applies to iPhones in the EU and right now Apple has no reason to expand these changes to iPhone owners around the globe. However, it's possible that global lawmakers will be watching from afar to see how things pan out in the EU.

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Based in the UK, Oliver has been writing about technology, entertainment, and games for more than a decade. If there's something with a battery or a plug, he's interested. After spending too much money building gaming PCs, Oliver switched to Apple and the Mac - and now spends too much on those instead.

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