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Australia sets new rules for Google, Apple digital wallets

The Australian government started to set new rules for tightening the regulation of digital payment services. Those rules will apply to the tech giants such as Alphabet’s Google and Apple.

Josh Frydenberg, the Treasurer, said he considers that and other suggestions from a government-commissioned report carefully. According to him, it depends on the report whether the payments system remains with progress in technology and changes in customer demand.

Rapidly grown services such as Google Pay, Apple Pay, and WeChat Pay are not assigned as payment systems. This means that they are outside the regulatory system.

In an interview published in the Australian Financial Review newspaper, Frydenberg said that they have to reform the current framework. If not, then Silicon Valley alone will determine the future of their payments system. This seems to be a critical part of their economic infrastructure.

Earlier this month, the Bank for International Settlements referred to global financial watchdogs about the vast amounts of data controlled by Google, Alibaba, Facebook, Amazon.

The Australian report suggested the government get the power to choose tech companies as payment providers while defining the regulatory status of digital wallets.

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

The Reserve Bank of Australia is currently in charge of selecting a payment services provider. It reported that payments completed by digital wallets experienced growth in 2019 to almost 9% of in-person card transactions. This result is higher by 2% than what was in 2016.

The Commonwealth Bank of Australia calculated digital wallet transactions. These transactions showed that it more than doubled to 2.2 billion Australian dollars this year. It asked regulators to address and consider the safety indications of the use.

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