(CTN News) – The Australian government announced on Monday its plans to include Apple Pay, Google Pay, and other digital payment services within the same regulatory framework as credit cards and other traditional payment methods. This move comes as part of new legislation that will be presented to parliament this week.
Currently, digital wallets offered by companies like Apple, Google, and Tencent’s WeChat are not subject to Australian payment law, despite their increasing popularity among consumers.
The upcoming legislation, which was initially mentioned last month, aims to expand the regulatory powers of the Reserve Bank of Australia to encompass new and emerging Apple payment technologies.
In a statement, Treasurer Jim Chalmers emphasized the importance of modernizing Australia’s payments system to align with the current and future needs of the economy.
The objective is to facilitate the increasing use of digital payments in a manner that fosters competition, innovation, and productivity across all sectors of the economy. Chalmers’ office has announced that legislation will be introduced either on Wednesday or Thursday.
This move comes as regulators respond to the significant growth of Apple digital wallets, particularly among the younger population. Notably, digital wallet transactions accounted for 35% of all card transactions in the June quarter, a substantial increase from the 10% recorded in early 2020.
Mobile payments are widely used by young Australians, with two-thirds of those aged between 18 and 29 utilizing this Apple payment method.
This is a significant increase from the pre-pandemic era, where less than 20% of this age group used mobile payments. Additionally, the proposed changes will empower a relevant minister to exercise special oversight over a system or platform if it poses a risk of “national significance.”