According to a new report, the Australian government is considering new laws that would tighten the regulation of digital payment systems like Apple Pay, Google Pay, and China’s WeChat Pay. Currently, these services are not designated as payment systems, which puts them outside the regulatory system.
Australia could reclassify tech companies as payment providers to regulate Apple Pay and similar payments systems
According to Reuters, Treasurer Josh Frydenberg plans to “carefully consider” whether the payment systems require stricter regulation. Currently, Apple Pay, Google Pay, and WeChat Pay are not classed as payment systems, which limits the role Australia’s government can play in terms of oversight.
Services such as Apple Pay, Google Pay and China’s WeChat Pay, which have grown rapidly in recent years, are not currently designated as payment systems, putting them outside the regulatory system.
Frydenberg has previously said that “if we do nothing to reform the current framework, it will be Silicon Valley alone that determines the future of our payments system, a critical piece of our economic infrastructure.”
The Bank for International Settlements (BIS) released a report earlier this month urging global financial watchdogs to “get to grips with the growing influence of” companies like Apple, Google, Facebook, and Amazon.
The Australian report recommended the government be given the power to designate tech companies as payment providers, clarifying the regulatory status of digital wallets.
The Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) has reported that payments via digital services had grown to 8% of in-person card transactions in 2019, up from 2% in 2016. The Commonwealth Bank of Australia, which estimates that digital wallet transactions more than doubled in the year to March to A$2.1 billion, has also urged regulators to look into the safety implications of these digital payment services.
In related news, Australian regulators are currently looking into rules and regulations which would “force” tech giants like Google and Apple to open their app stores by allowing third-party app stores on their devices.