Australia Continues to Scrutinize Apple Pay Amid Push for Regulation

The government of Australia is considering creating new laws that could more heavily regulate digital payments systems such as Apple Pay, Google Pay, and WeChat Pay (via Reuters).

Apple Pay Feature
An Australian government-commissioned report into digital payments systems has made a number of recommendations, one of which suggested actively regulating ‌Apple Pay‌ and other similar digital payments services. Speaking to the Australian Financial Review, Treasurer Josh Frydenberg said that the recommendations would be carefully considered:

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.

Under current Australian law, the likes of ‌Apple Pay‌ are not classified as payment systems, putting them outside payment regulations. Classifying ‌Apple Pay‌ as a payment system would clarify the regulatory status of digital wallets in Australia and allow the government to explicitly designate big tech companies as payment providers.

Other recommendations, contingent on classifying ‌Apple Pay‌ as a payment system, look to establish a strategy for the country's wider payments ecosystem with a single, integrated licensing framework.

Australian banks such as the Reserve Bank of Australia and the Commonwealth Bank of Australia have previously raised concerns around the growth of digital wallets with "competition issues" and purported safety implications. Earlier this year, an Australian Parliamentary Committee considered forcing Apple to open up the iPhone's NFC chip to support third-party payment systems in an effort to promote competition.

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Top Rated Comments

Mrjetsondc Avatar
37 months ago
In other words, Visa and MC are crying and trying to flex their lobbying power.
Score: 12 Votes (Like | Disagree)
RedWing512 Avatar
37 months ago
If the Australian government doesn't like it, then Apple is doing something right.
Score: 10 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Expos of 1969 Avatar
37 months ago
The Australian Government should have put a bit of effort into purchasing and administering vaccines rather than this perhaps...
Score: 10 Votes (Like | Disagree)
840quadra Avatar
37 months ago

"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."

Exactly this.
Also agree to open up NFC, as in, force Apple to open up NFC.
What would be the benefit of opening NFC?

Personally I am not 100% up to speed on the tech, but one of the biggest draws to a closed NFC and randomized payment system is the security. I don't want to go back to worrying about people cloning my CC after using a skimmer.
Score: 9 Votes (Like | Disagree)
miniyou64 Avatar
37 months ago
Government wanting their hand in everything despite the fact that they are without fail totally incompetent? Hmmm couldn’t be
Score: 8 Votes (Like | Disagree)
jace88 Avatar
37 months ago

Australian banks such as the Reserve Bank of Australia and the Commonwealth Bank of Australia have previously raised concerns around the growth of digital wallets with "competition issues" and purported safety implications.
I don’t know if it’s really fair to call the RBA a bank in the same context as say Commonweath Bank, a for profit retail bank. The RBA is the central bank for Australia (ie a fundamentally different role to a typical bank, like the US Fed) and also is tasked with regulating payments, so their view is going to be somewhat different to a typical participant in the sector.
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)