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Australia treasurer doesn’t want Silicon Valley to determine “the future of our payments system”

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The Australian government, after a series of efforts in the direction of regulating Big Tech, is now planning on regulating digital payment services such as Apple Pay.

“Ultimately, if we do nothing to reform the current framework, it will be Silicon Valley alone that determines the future of our payments system, a critical piece of our economic infrastructure,” said Australian treasurer Josh Frydenberg in an op-ed published in the Australian Financial Review newspaper.

The op-ed recommends that the Australian government be in a position of power for establishing a strategic plan between the industry, payment providers, tech companies, and government for an integrated licensing framework for payment systems.

While digital payment systems have been on the rise for quite some time now, the COVID-19 pandemic ended up accelerating their growth altogether.

Online payments from wallets have now exceeded cash transactions across most in-store transactions globally. In Australia alone, between 2016 to 2019, the use of digital payment wallets has grown by 6 percent.

It is unclear as to how Australia will regulate digital wallets and payment services, and how Google, Apple, and WeChat, among other service providers, may respond to such regulatory efforts.

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