Korean FinTech Startups Accuse Apple Pay of Violating Law, Complain to Government
近日，几家韩国主要金融科技新兴公司着手向韩国公平贸易委员会（KFTC）提出申诉，状告苹果公司违反韩国消费者保护法。这些公司包括获奖的近场通讯服务商Hankook NFC公司以及KTB Solution and Interpay公司。
苹果的新型智能手机如 iPhone 7以及7 plus手机只允许Apple Pay使用其近场通讯功能，这使其他依赖近场通讯功能的外部应用无法在苹果手机上运行。
KORFIN主席Lee Seung Gun称：“这些公司正与消费者维权团体商谈，突破严格的法律限制，以韩国金融协会的名义发起申诉。消费者享受各类金融科技服务的机会，不能因为苹果的封闭式政策而被剥夺。”
KORFIN主席Lee Seung Gun称：“消费者有权享受基于近场通讯功能的服务。尽管韩国消费者和美国消费者一样，购买的都是苹果手机，但却不能享受这种服务，这完全说不通。”
South Korea's leading Fintech startups are set to file a petition with the Korean Fair Trade Commission (KFTC) against Apple for their violation of local laws on consumer protection. The group of companies includes award-winning NFC service provider Hankook NFC Co., KTB Solution and Interpay Co.
Various Fintech organizations like Korean Finance Association (KORFIN) believe that Apple's NFC function limitation restricts external app developer's access to its near field communication, which ultimately disallows Fintech start-ups and service providers in South Korea from providing NFC services to local consumers.
Apple iPhone 7's API Lock-down
Apple's new line of smart-phones such as the iPhone 7 and 7 plus explicitly enables Apple Pay to utilize its NFC functions, which prevents other external NFC-reliant services from operating on the smart-phone.
The API lockdown of Apple's new smart-phones disallows South Korean iPhone users from accessing credit card applications, mobile payment platforms, and other Fintech services that they used on previous iPhones like the iPhone 6 and 6s.
"The companies have been in talks with consumer advocacy groups to overcome technical constraints in bringing the petition under the name of the association," said KORFIN chairman Lee Seung Gun. "Due to Apple's closed policy, consumers should not be deprived of opportunities to enjoy various Fintech services."
Hankook NFC, the largest NFC service provider in the country, heavily criticized Apple's restriction on its NFC functions, claiming that South Korean consumers have the right to utilize local payment applications like the users in the United States.
"Consumers have rights to enjoy NFC-based services but Korean consumers cannot use the services even though they purchased the same type of iPhones as those in the U.S. and this is a nonsense," said Hwan Seung-ik, CEO of Hankook NFC.
Integration of External Applications
While Apple has locked down its NFC functions, it has integrated alternative payment applications into its iMessage application, enabling a wide range of users to utilize a variety of payment services like Circle's Bitcoin payment and trading platform.阿
Instead of encouraging developers to design external Fintech services, Apple decided to integrate a handful of applications that have been approved and verified by the Apple development team directly into its system.
If Apple fails or denies complying with the ruling of KFTC, serious consequences may be imposed on iPhone distributors in South Korea.