Germany’s ‘Lex Apple Pay’: Payment Services Regulation Overtakes Competition Enforcement

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Franck, J.-U., & Linardatos, D. (2021). Germany’s ‘Lex Apple Pay’: Payment Services Regulation Overtakes Competition Enforcement. Journal of European Competition Law & Practice, 12(2), 68–81.

Publication type

Article in Scientific Journal


Mobile payments appear to be the payment technology of the near future in the point-of-sale business. As in most markets when a wave of digitalization sweeps through, incumbents, big tech companies, and newcomers are all struggling to secure the biggest slice of the cake for themselves. In Germany, recent regulatory intervention has the potential to rebalance the relative strengths of the protagonists: the legislature enacted a provision with effect from 1 January 2020 that aims to help payment service providers to access the ‘technical infrastructure’1 that contributes to mobile and internet-based payment services. This new Section 58a of the German Payment Services Supervisory Act (PSSA) has become known as the ‘Lex Apple Pay’ since its immediate objective is widely understood as providing payment service providers, particularly established banks such as German savings banks, access to the iPhone’s contactless payment chip, which is called the near-field communication (NFC) interface....


Organizational Units

  • Chair for Banking and Financial Market Law
  • Institute for Business Law

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