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Norwegian banks ally to say that Apple Pay should be opened up

Credit: Apple

The coalition of banks that formed Norwegian payment app Vipps wants to see antitrust action taken against Apple, unless Apple Pay's NFC tech is opened up.

The European Union held a closed hearing over Apple's alleged antitrust behavior on Tuesday, but following it, Norway firm Vipps says that it wants to see decisive action taken against Apple Pay.

According to Reuters, Vipps was present at the hearing. The EU has not yet released its findings following the closed session, but Vipps' decision to speak out may indicate that Apple was persuasive in its presentation.

Regardless of the hearing, Vipps says that the EU should now force Apple to allow access to its NFC technology.

"This is really important for us," Vipps Chief Executive Rune Garborg told Reuters. "Seventy-eight percent of card transactions in Norway are done through terminals. It is why NFC is so important especially among young people."

Vipps was reportedly present at the EU's closed session, where Apple was expected to argue that it does not preclude other firms using NFC.

"[However,] "Apple is only sharing NFC with banks, which have to pay for installing their cards in Apple Pay," said Garborg. "But for us as a wallet, we don't have open access to NFC."

Vipps is owned by a consortium of Norwegian banks. Its representatives told Reuters that they had tried alternatives to NFC, but they were too cumbersome to be competitive.

Apple has not commented on the statement from Vipps. However, as part of its response to the EU's investigation, Apple has previously defended its position.

"We designed Apple Pay to provide an easy and secure way for users to digitally present their existing payment cards and for banks and other financial institutions to offer contactless payments for their customers," an Apple spokesperson told AppleInsider in 2022. "Apple Pay is only one of many options available to European consumers for making payments, and has ensured equal access to NFC while setting industry-leading standards for privacy and security."