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Big Tech's Role in Contactless Payments: Analysis of Mobile Device Operating Systems and Tap-to-Pay Practices

Consumers are increasingly turning to their mobile devices to make contactless “tap-to-pay” payments at the point-of-sale, which rely on near-field communication (NFC) technology. The dominant mobile device operating systems—Apple’s iOS and Google’s Android—have different policies governing third-party access to NFC, with potential impacts consumer competition and choice in the mobile tap-to-pay space.

This issue spotlight is part of the CFPB’s broader effort to monitor the rapidly evolving consumer payments industry, including the expansion of Big Tech companies into this sphere. It is also the first in a series of spotlights focused on threats to robust competition in consumer finance markets.

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Related press release

CFPB Report Highlights Role of Big Tech Firms in Mobile Payments