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Mobile wallet usage is growing in Australia, causing concerns about the use of payment apps like Apple Pay and Google Pay. With this, the Australian government seeks to regulate the said services in its market by drafting a new law.

Android and iOS are the two leading operating mobile systems around the globe, and this dominance seems to be extending to the payment services of Google and Apple. According to the Australian Banking Association, mobile wallet transactions jumped from 29.2 million in 2018 to 2.4 billion last year. No exact numbers were shared on how much each platform contributes to these huge figures, but it is apparently enough for the Australian government to aim for a dedicated regulation for Apple Pay, Google Pay, and all digital payment providers.

According to a recent Reuters report, the country has already drafted a law that will give the Reserve Bank of Australia power to regulate mobile wallet service providers. This should effectively designate platforms like Apple Pay, Google Pay, and other eligible platforms as payment providers in Australia, putting them within the country’s financial regulatory policies.

Once implemented, designated platforms will be monitored by the central bank, which is already doing it on credit card networks. This power extends to the country’s treasurer, allowing it to push regulators to perform assessments for possible risks from the services.

Apple and Google, on the other hand, are pushing back against this decision, arguing they are only allowing users to use their devices containing the cards issued by banks for the transactions. Unfortunately, Australia seems determined to establish the new law, which should enter the parliament before this year ends.

This is just one of the recent moves of the country, which is hoping to get better control over company giants in its market. Months ago, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission pushed the mandatory code of conduct for digital platforms, which should deter anti-competitive behavior. These include limitations of allowing customers to switch to their preferred service and the platforms heavily favoring their own services and products over competitors. It could particularly affect Apple and Google by pushing them to face significant changes in their app sideloading and in-app purchase commission policies.


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