A group of Swiss banks are under investigation by the country's anti-trust authorities over whether they boycotted mobile payment services from Apple and Samsung in order to improve the prospects of their own competitive offering Twint.
Offices at UBS, Credit Suisse, PostFinance, Swisscard AECS, and Aduno Holding, have been raided by Comco over allegations that they deliberately refused to release their debit cards for use by Apple Pay and Samsung Pay in an effort to thwart their attempts to break into the market.
Twint a mobile-payment app developed by Postfinance and used by the bank named in the complaint expressed "astonishment" at the watchdog's actions.
"No accusations have been made against Twint by the Competition Commission, and Twint is all the more surprised by the Comco's action," the company said in a statement. "In addition, Twint itself asked the Comco some time ago to investigate discriminatory behaviour by Apple towards Twint, because Apple prevents the trouble-free use of the Twint app on IOS devices.
Credit Suisse and UBS were equally nonplussed by the raids.
“We are surprised by the investigation and convinced that these allegations will be proven baseless," Credit Suisse told Bloomberg in a statement, adding that the bank’s unit Swisscard is offering access to Samsung Pay and Apple Pay.
UBS told the newswire it held talks with Apple Pay in 2016 on a cooperation but couldn’t reach an agreement.