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In a regulatory move set to shake up the digital payment landscape, Australia is gearing up to subject Apple Pay and other mobile wallet platforms to increased scrutiny, aligning them with the regulatory framework governing credit cards and other payment methods. Despite Apple’s pushback, the new legislation is poised to roll out later this week, expanding the Reserve Bank of Australia’s oversight to include these tech-driven financial tools.
As reported by Reuters, the forthcoming legislation represents an extension of existing laws empowering the Reserve Bank of Australia to regulate and supervise payments across the country. Apple, however, contends that this regulatory expansion could hamper innovation, citing concerns over an amplified “regulatory burden” with limited public benefits.
In a recent regulatory filing, Apple asserted that the proposed regulation might inadvertently stifle the dynamic innovation that has been a hallmark of Australia’s evolving payment system. The tech giant argues that the increased regulatory oversight could lead to errors and hinder the very innovation that has characterized the country’s payment landscape in recent years.
Notably, Apple Pay operates exclusively with debit, credit, or prepaid cards issued by third parties. Apple emphasizes that it lacks access to a cardholder’s account details and does not collect transaction information when users utilize its platform. Despite these assurances, the impending legislation signals a shift, bringing digital wallet providers like Apple and Google under the purview of the Reserve Bank of Australia, much like credit cards.
While the regulatory extension is imminent, there’s currently no explicit roadmap outlining the specific changes or constraints that the Reserve Bank of Australia might impose on Apple Pay. This lack of clarity adds an element of uncertainty to the future landscape of mobile wallet operations in the country.
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