Vipps mobile payment app takes on Apple in Norway

Mobile payment - Flag of Norway

The application is calling for the European Union’s (EU) antitrust regulators to take action.

Norwegian mobile payment app company Vipps has called for European Union (EU) antitrust regulators to require Apple to permit access to its tap-and-go functionality without any restrictions, said Rune Gaborg, the company’s CEO.

The goal is to make it possible for other companies to be more competitive in the digital transaction space.

Gaborg made his comments seeking action from the EU’s antitrust regulators against the iPhone maker the day after Apple made its latest effort to try to convince those regulators that it is not currently blocking rivals from being able to access its mobile wallet technologies. This last ditch move was made at a closed hearing where Vipps was a third party.

Mobile payment - Making a payment with smartphone

Vipps is a mobile payment app owned by a Norwegian bank consortium. Last year, the application merged with MobilePay, its counterpart from Denmark. According to the company, the issue is a vital one because Apple is highly popular throughout the Nordic countries. As the trend continues to increase the use of iPhones to complete transactions – particularly those powered by near field communication (NFC) technology – it is increasingly important for rivals to have access to that tech for their own products.

NFC mobile payment technology has made contactless smartphone transactions popular in the EU.

“This is really important for us. Seventy-eight percent of card transactions in Norway are done through terminals. It is why NFC is so important especially among young people,” said Gaborg. “Apple is only sharing NFC with banks, which have to pay for installing their cards in Apple Pay. But for us as a wallet, we don’t have open access to NFC.”

According to Vipps, access to the NFC technology would broaden its digital wallet’s geographical reach and would make it easier for rival companies like it to be able to innovate products. Simultaneously, it would improve the capacity to provide convenient cross-border transactions.

At the time of the writing of this article, Apple had not yet made any public comment on this matter. It had previously stated that Apple Pay is among several options that EU consumers have available to them, and that this has ensured that there is equal access to its tech.

On the other hand, Vipps stated that it has tried those mobile payment alternatives to NFC, but they are clunky and not competitive with tap-and-go.

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