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    South Korean firms the latest to take action against Apple

    A group of South Korean financial services providers are following in the footsteps of four Australian banks by preparing to take action against Apple in a bid to pressurise the technology giant into opening up the NFC technology within its iPhone handsets.

    AppleHankook NFC, Kona I, Cashbee and Interpay held a meeting last week and are working on submitting a request to the Korea Fair Trade Commission, according to Business Korea.

    “The Korean fintech firms are claiming that Apple’s policy not to open its closed API is denying them NFC-based fintech business opportunities such as simple mobile payment, transportation cards and user identification,” the publication reports.

    It adds that the firms “are planning to further push forward with the plan to appeal to the Fair Trade Commission after legal reviews by holding their second meeting at the end of this month”.

    Australian banks Westpac, Commonwealth Bank of Australia (CBA), National Australia Bank (NAB) and Bendigo and Adelaide Bank submitted their request to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) in July 2016, urging for the right to ensure they are able to “collectively negotiate” with third party mobile wallet providers.

    Apple spoke out for the first time about the banks’ submission in August, stating that their case was made up of “factual and legal misstatements” and would “harm consumers, lead to less competition and less innovation, and create a troubling precedent” if granted. It has since insisted that allowing access to its NFC technology is “not open to negotiation with any bank”.

    Supermarket giant Coles recently put its backing behind the banks with its own submission to the ACCC. The regulator ruled that it would not grant the banks interim authorization to collectively negotiate last month.

    Reports emerged that Apple was facing hurdles in launching Apple Pay in Korea in July 2015.

    • Karel Ankwee

      That would be perfect if it worked out. Not only because of mobile payments, but also mobile NFC identification with services sucha as the NFCporter and similar that currently need to overcome the missing NFC support at apple with bluetooth and other not so comfy technologies.

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