Apple Says NFC Implementation on Android Is Less Secure Than iPhones

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Apple has put its case forward to the Australian Parliamentary Committee on why it only provides banks and other financial institutions with access to NFC on iPhones via Apple Pay.

Apple has long been under scrutiny in Australia for not opening NFC on iPhones to third-party apps and services. In its response, Apple says that it has not implemented Host Card Emulation (HCE) on iPhones as adopted by Android as it “would lead to less security on Apple devices.” The company also claims that it provides banks with fair and non-discriminatory access to NFC on iPhones through Apple Pay.

“Google likely selected this implementation because Android software is used in a variety of hardware devices offered from many different companies other than Google, and therefore had to select a software-centric solution, even though it is a less secure than a secure element-based implementation.

“Apple, which offers a tight integration between the operating system and its own hardware, is able to offer a fully integrated solution that is superior to Android’s approach.”

In its statement, Google denied the claims by Apple and said its HCE system is audited directly by banks worldwide and that it is completely secure.

Our payments apps are immensely secure … our HCE system, which is used by a very large number of banks all around the world, is audited directly by the banks … we would refute the suggestion our HCE environment is in any way insecure.

Google even claimed in its statement that the user experience of Google Pay “is equal to that of Apple Pay.”

NFC payments are widely used in Australia, with consumers there finding scanning a QR code for payment and check-in purposes comparatively slower.

Apple has come under pressure to open up NFC on the iPhone in other parts of the world as well. Apple is already the subject of an antitrust investigation in the EU for limiting NFC and Apple Pay access.

[Via ZDNet]