Swiss banks accused of colluding to hurt Apple Pay | Cult of Mac

Swiss banks accused of colluding to hurt Apple Pay

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Apple in talks to bring Apple Pay to Israel
Apple Pay arrived in Switzerland in 2016.
Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

Switzerland is opening up an investigation into whether major banks colluded to fight off the threat of mobile payments services such as Apple Pay.

The banks, which include Credit Suisse and Switzerland’s top bank UBS, supposedly wanted to boost the Swiss mobile payment service TWINT. As a result, they are alleged to have blocked their credit cards from working with Apple Pay and the rival Samsung Pay service.

The banks have disputed the investigation. “We are surprised about this investigation and are convinced that the allegations will prove to be unfounded,” said Credit Suisse. It said that it had been, “in talks with companies such as Apple, Samsung or Google for several months to discuss how their mobile payment solutions could be offered to our clients.”

UBS said that it tried to broker an agreement with Apple back in 2016. “Unfortunately no agreement could be reached,” it said.

TWINT is not the target of the probe. It said that it was “astonished” to have had its premises searched as part of the investigation. “TWINT itself asked the [Swiss Competition Commission] some time ago to investigate discriminatory behavior by Apple towards TWINT, because Apple prevents the trouble-free use of the TWINT app on iOS devices.”

Other parties named in the investigation include PostFinance, cashless payments company Aduno Holding, and Swisscard AECS, a subsidiary of American Express.

Apple Pay made its debut in Switzerland in July 2016, initially supported by Bonus Card, Cornèr Bank and SwissBankers.

Source: ABS-CNB