Your iPhone gets a choice: First alternative to Apple Wallet ready to arrive in Europe

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) and to open up its contactless payment system. Basically, Apple has to let other payment apps use the same tech (NFC) that powers Apple Pay. And guess what? Those other payment apps are chomping at the bit to get started.

The first alternative to Apple Wallet is ready to launch in the EU

Reputable media The Times, out of the UK, says Apple’s still ironing out some technical kinks, but once that’s done, British company Curve claims it is good to go and launch its competing Wallet app right away.
The London fintech company is revving up to launch the first real challenger to Apple Wallet. It will be the first full-fledged alternative once Apple finishes the switch and lets other apps use the iPhone’s NFC chip for payments, as required by the EU’s law. Curve says this change will save banks millions of euros they currently fork over to Apple in transaction fees.

Here’s how Curve’s system will work – you need to first download the app and set it as your default payment method. Then, whenever you want to pay with a tap on your iPhone, just like with Apple Pay, Curve will be the option that pops up. Right now, the only option for tap-and-go payments on an iPhone is Apple’s own system.

Curve says it will be the first to launch an alternative to Apple Wallet, but rumors are swirling that other companies are working on their own options, too, like the Nordic firm Vipps MobilePay. It’s important to note that, for now, these alternative wallets will only be available for iPhone users in Europe.
However, back in March, the Department of Justice went after Apple, claiming the company created a monopoly with the iPhone. DOJ argues that Apple’s dominance in the smartphone market makes it tough for others to create alternative digital wallets because they wouldn’t reach many iPhone users. With such investigations into Apple’s business practices heating up, we might see some changes in the US, as well.


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