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Australia is considering new laws for Apple, Google, WeChat digital wallets

Australia is considering new laws for Apple, Google, WeChat digital wallets

August 31, 2021: -The Australian government is considering new laws that would tighten digital wallets  services by tech giants like Apple and Alphabet’s Google.

Treasurer Josh Frydenberg said he would “carefully consider” that and other recommendations from a government-commissioned report into if the payments system had kept speed with advances in technology and changes in consumer demand.

Services like Apple Pay, Google Pay, and China’s WeChat Pay, which have multiplied in recent years, are not designated as payment systems, putting them outside the regulatory system.

“Ultimately, 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,” Frydenberg said in an Australian Financial Review newspaper.

Earlier this month, the Bank for International Settlements called for global financial watchdogs to get to grips with the growing influence of ‘Big Tech’ and the enormous amounts of data controlled by groups like Google, Facebook, Amazon, and Alibaba.

The Australian report recommends that the government be given the power to designate tech companies as payment providers, which clarifies the regulatory status of digital wallets.

It also recommended that the government and industry establish a strategic plan for the broader payments ecosystem and develop a single, integrated licensing framework for payment systems.

The Reserve Bank of Australia, which is a challenge in charge of designating a payment services provider, reported that payments through digital wallets had increased to 8% of in-person card transactions in 2019, up from 2% in the year 2016.

The Commonwealth Bank of Australia, estimating that digital wallet transactions more than doubled this year to March to 2.1 billion Australian dollars, urging regulators to address “competition issues” and consider the safety implications of their use.

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