Australia's government has set out plans to regulate digital wallet providers such as Apple and Google in the same way as other payment services.
With the use of mobile wallets soaring, the government has moved to amend the Payment Systems (Regulation) Act 1998 to update the definition of ‘payment’ and ‘payments systems’ to capture new methods.
This will ensure that the Reserve Bank of Australia can regulate these providers and also introduce a Ministerial designation power that would allow particular services or platforms that "present risks of national significance" to be subject to additional oversight by regulators.
Treasurer Jim Chalmers says: "We want to make sure the shift to digital payments occurs in a way that promotes greater competition, innovation and productivity across our entire economy."
The draft legislation is now open to public consultation and is expected to be introduced to parliament later in the year.
It is part of Australia's strategic payments plan that will also see the phasing out of cheques by the end of the decade, a full transition to the New Payment Platform, work to maintain access to cash, and exploratory work on a possible CBDC.