The European Court of Justice (ECJ) ruled Hungary’s state-owned mobile payments system Nemzeti Mobilfizetesi, which is used to pay authorities for a range of services, operates as a monopoly and breaks European law.
Use of the platform is the only way to pay by mobile for services including public transport, parking and road tolls.
The ruling was handed down in a case brought by the European Commission against the company and, by proxy, the Hungarian state in 2014.
In the judgement, the ECJ said: “The exclusive operation of a national mobile payment system by an undertaking controlled by the Hungarian state is contrary to EU law” adding “even if the services provided under that system constitute services of general economic interest, their supply cannot be reserved to a state monopoly.”
It concluded: “The contested measures constitute a disproportionate restriction on the freedom to provide services.”Subscribe to our daily newsletter