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Australia Set to Regulate Digital Payments, Including Apple Pay and Google Pay

 |  November 27, 2023

The Australian government has announced its intention to amend existing legislation to regulate popular digital payment services such as Apple Pay, Google Pay, and other digital wallets. This step aims to bring these services under the same regulatory framework as traditional payment methods like credit cards.

The legislation, slated to be introduced to parliament this week, is part of an effort to modernize Australia’s payments system. As digital wallets from tech giants like Apple, Google, and WeChat’s Tencent gain widespread popularity, the government recognizes the need to update regulatory measures to ensure the security and efficiency of these transactions, reported Reuters.

The proposed amendments will extend the powers of the Reserve Bank of Australia to regulate payments, adapting to the dynamic landscape of new and emerging technologies in the financial sector. Treasurer Jim Chalmers emphasized the importance of these changes, stating, “We are modernizing Australia’s payments system to ensure it meets the needs of our economy now and into the future.”

Read more: EU Regulators Probe Deeper Into Apple Pay

The legislative update is designed to promote greater competition, innovation, and productivity across the entire economy by addressing the increasing use of digital payments. Chalmers’ office has indicated that the legislation is scheduled to be introduced to parliament on either Wednesday or Thursday.

Regulators are responding to the significant growth of digital wallets, particularly among the younger population. According to recent data, transactions from digital wallets accounted for 35% of all card transactions in the June quarter, a substantial increase from the 10% reported in early 2020. The surge in popularity of mobile payments is evident among Australians aged 18 to 29, with two-thirds of this demographic utilizing mobile payment options. Before the onset of the pandemic, this figure was less than 20%.

As the use of digital payments continues to rise, Australian authorities aim to strike a balance between embracing innovation and ensuring a secure and regulated financial environment.

Source: Reuters