Switzerland’s Competition Commission, WEKO (for “Wettbewerbskommission”), has raided the offices of Credit Suisse, UBS, TWINT, and other domestic financial services providers in a probe concerning unfair business practices toward mobile payments platforms including Apple Pay and Samsung Pay.
WEKO says it is investigating the possibility that these organizations have organized a boycott of the mobile payments platforms, colluding to withhold their payment cards from compatibility.
As Reuters reports, some of targets of the probe have responded. UBS said it had attempted to reach an agreement with Apple over the service’s use of its cards, but that the two failed to reach an understanding. Credit Suisse told Reuters it does offer payment cards compatible with Apple Pay and Samsung Pay via its Swisscard subsidiary.
TWINT AG expressed astonishment at the probe in a statement, asserting that it had previously asked WEKO to investigate Apple over its refusal to support the TWINT app on its devices. TWINT is itself a digital payments platform jointly created by major Swiss banks.
The kerfuffle echoes resistance that Apple has seen from established financial services interests in other markets such as Australia, where four major banks attempted to form a cartel that would negotiate with Apple as a bloc over support for its mobile payments platform – a move that was deemed anti-competitive by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission last year.