Regulating digital wallets in Australia

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Services such as Apple Pay, Google Pay or WeChat Pay in China are not considered payment service providers under current regulations, so they are outside the regulatory system while growing at an extraordinary rate in recent years.

According to Frydenberg, if the existing framework is not fixed, tech companies will determine the future of propulsion systems. A similar conclusion was reached earlier by the Bank for International Settlements, which urged financial authorities to regulate the technology and data companies they control.

The Australian report suggests that technology companies should be categorized as payment service providers for digital wallets, thus clarifying the legal status of such solutions.

At the same time, it urges the creation of a strategic plan to be developed jointly by the government and the sector in relation to the broader ecosystem of payment services, and considers the development of an integrated rating system desirable for payment systems.

Under current regulations, the country’s central bank decides who the payment service provider is. According to the Reserve Bank of Australia, 8 per cent of personal card payments were linked to a digital wallet in 2019, a fourfold increase since 2016, when only 2 per cent of purchases were made in this way.

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