In legislation heading to parliament within days, Australia intends to make Apple Pay and other digital payment platforms deal with the same level of regulatory oversight as credit cards.
Australia has attempted to try and regulate digital wallet apps and payment platforms like Apple Pay, Google Pay, and others for some time. On Wednesday, new legislation will be introduced to the country's parliament, in a bid to change laws and affect how the apps and services are regulated.
The legislation would effectively put the Reserve Bank of Australia in a position to regulate payments for new and emerging technologies. Rather than current 25-year-old laws that limit the RBA's reach, the new versions will empower the RBA to make changes as it sees fit.
"We are modernizing Australia's payments system to ensure it meets the needs of our economy now and into the future," said Treasurer Jim Chalmers according to Reuters. "We want to make sure the increasing use of digital payments occurs in a way that helps promote greater competition, innovation, and productivity across our entire economy."
In October, Apple argued against the introduction of legislation over how Apple Pay is regulated, believing it could lead to mistakes.
"Apple believes the proposed expansion will increase regulatory burden with a net public benefit, give rise to regulatory error, and stifle the dynamic innovation that has characterized Australia's payment system over recent years," the iPhone maker said in an October statement.
Existing financial institutions in the country that are already dealing with current legislation have pushed lawmakers to consider changes to take on the new tech giant-based payment systems.
In August, the Commonwealth Bank of Australia submitted to the Treasury that it didn't want "free riders and loopholes that could be disproportionately exploited by overseas technology companies," and that regulators "should have the ability to regulate all participants that form part of the payments ecosystem"