Korean FinTech companies to ask the Fair Trade Commission to look into unfair business practices of Apple
Korean FinTech companies to ask the Fair Trade Commission to look into unfair business practices of Apple
  • By Lee Jun-sung (jslee@koreaittimes.com)
  • 승인 2016.09.19 15:07
  • 댓글 0
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Korean fintech companies held a meeting to review a legal action plan to report the unfair business practices of the Cupertino based Apple to the Fair Trade Commission

Some leading fintech companies in South Korea are reviewing a legal action plan to report the unfair business practices of the Cupertino based Apple Inc. to the Fair Trade Commission (FTC).

Currently, there are many NFC (Near Field Communication)-based mobile services offered to Koreans like NFC chip-tap payment for riding on the metro system, taxi rides, crime reporting, and mobile payment applications and authentication services but they are only available on the Android phones because Apple through its closed system has not allowed any outside parties to develop such services on its iPhones.

This past July, Australia's three largest banks, including the country's largest, National Australia Bank, have filed a joint application with ACCC (Australian Competition and Consumer Commission) to force Apple into negotiations over the installation of third-party mobile payments software on iPhone. By filing the ACCC application, the banks are seeking approval to collectively negotiate the installation of non-Apple Pay software on iPhone hardware. Currently, Apple only allows its own in-house mobile payments system Apple Pay, and the corresponding Wallet app, on iOS devices.

With the country having a full adoption of NFC-chip enabled cards nationwide, Australia has one of the highest NFC-based payment penetration in the world at about 70% of the total payment transacted via NFC. The bloc wants open access to iPhone's NFC technology, so that the application would benefit the entire Australian mobile payments landscape including for public transport fares, airlines, ticketing, store loyalty and rewards programs and many more applications yet to be developed.

The Korean fintech companies contend that while Apple allows apps on iPhones using other commonplace technology, such as Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, restricting the technology through which mobile wallets function – known as Near Field Technology (NFC) – constitutes anti-competitive behavior.

South Korea’s FinTech companies are pushing forward promoting a lawsuit against Apple for not opening NFC API(Application Programming Interface).

The reason was because Apple is insisting closed API policy, so it is blocking FinTech business opportunity by not applying quick and easy payment including transportation card, authentication, and various of NFC finance services.

It is predicted that it will be fierce on law arguments between Apple and South Korea’s FinTech businesses after requesting lawsuits on Apple to open NFC API. Korea’s FinTech businesses are planning to specify lawsuit plan with Korea Fair Trade Commission(KFTC) at the end of this month after they examine the acts from their second meeting.

<List of participants>

- Korea Fintech Industry Association : The forum of leading fintech companies in South Korea
- HankookNFC Inc. : offers mobile payment and self-authentication service using smartphone’s NFC feature
- EB CARD : offers prepaid card & traffic card system
- Konai : provides smart card total solutions as smart card platform, smart card management system
- INTERPAY : Mobile payment & security authority service
- KTBSOLUTION : provides financial security solution
- Tek & Law Lawfirm : Overwhelmingly stands out in the field of Information protection and privacy protection


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