Tech giants such as Apple, Facebook, Amazon and Ant Group (Alibaba) must ensure that their platforms are suitable for different types of payment services in order to guarantee consumers’ freedom of choice. The Netherlands Authority for Consumers and Markets (ACM) argues for this in a study commissioned by the Ministry of Finance.
According to the study, the role of large tech companies in the Dutch payment market is still limited. But ACM sees that they are strengthening their positions through acquisitions and cooperation. They increasingly come with their own means of payment, both online and in the store.
According to ACM, action must be taken before it is too late and there are only a few major players who determine the field. For example, in China there are actually only two large companies that arrange payment transactions: WeChat and Alipay.
Pay with smartphone
In shops, more and more options for contactless payment are also becoming available, for example with Apple Pay on Apple smartphones. But according to ACM, those devices should also have the option of using competing payment services.
Martijn Snoep, ACM chairman of the board: “Only if the playing field is level, payment services will continue to compete and innovate and consumers will remain free to choose. It would be good if the European rules on this point would be tightened before the market is dominated by one or a few major players. “
There are two European rules that, according to the Authority, can help. First of all, by changing the European PSD2 directive for open access to payment systems. Tech companies that only provide payment services facilitate are not covered, but according to ACM it should. After all, by facilitating payments, they are, according to the authority, a gateway for payments and they can limit options if they wish.
Furthermore, the competition rules should be changed. Based on those rules, companies that are very dominant can be forced to open up platforms.