Bank Regulation

Credit Suisse, UBS Accused Of Blocking Apple Pay, Samsung Pay

Credit Suisse, UBS, and several other financial companies are in the crosshairs of regulators in Switzerland which launched an investigation into them.

According to a report in CNBC, WEKO, the country’s competition watchdog, said Thursday (November 15) that it is investigating some of the largest financial firms for potentially boycotting mobile payment services such as Apple Pay and Samsung Pay. According to CNBC the firms being investigated include Aduno Holding, Postfinance, Swisscard and Swiss units of Credit Suisse and UBS. The regulator also said it had raided the offices of the companies that are part of the investigation, reported CNBC.

“We are surprised about this investigation and are convinced that the allegations will prove to be unfounded,” Credit Suisse said in a statement, reported CNBC. “We already offer to consumers in Switzerland access to Apple Pay and Samsung Pay through our subsidiary Swisscard, of which Credit Suisse owns 50%. In addition, we have been in talks with companies such as Apple, Samsung or Google for several months to discuss how their mobile payment solutions could be offered to our clients.” Meanwhile, a spokesperson for the bank told CNBC subsequently that it will continue to work with Swiss mobile payment app Twint.

According to CNBC, the investigation could be aimed at seeing if Swiss financial institutions reached an agreement to boycott mobile payment suppliers, with authorities suspecting they jointly agreed to not provide credit card details for use with Apple Pay and Samsung Pay in favor of Twint. UBS, for one, disputed that on Thursday (November 15), telling CNBC that it wasn’t able to reach an agreement with Apple Pay despite trying to work with the company.  “We do not comment on ongoing investigations, but would like to point out that in 2016 we tried to reach an agreement with Apple Pay regarding the use of UBS credit cards. Although we have offered several alternatives, unfortunately, no agreement could be reached,” UBS said in a statement.



The pressure on banks to modernize their payments capabilities to support initiatives such as ISO 20022 and instant/real time payments has been exacerbated by the emergence of COVID-19 and the compelling need to quickly scale operations due to the rapid growth of contactless payments, and subsequent increase in digitization. Given this new normal, the need for agility and optimization across the payments processing value chain is imperative.