Apple says that plans to treat digital wallets like Apple Pay like credit cards will stifle innovation and open up opportunities for more regulatory errors.
Apple’s objections to new federal government plans in Australia were raised in the wake of plans to regulate platforms like Apple Pay in the same way as credit cards.
As ABC Australia reports, « Apple and Google will soon be required to comply with rules already imposed on credit cards and EFTPOS transactions in an attempt by the federal government to better protect consumers. » That would mean « more transparency around costs charged to consumers and businesses, » but no material impact to consumers who use the service. Treasurer Jim Chalmers says Australia’s payment system « needs to remain fit for purpose so that it delivers for consumers and small businesses » and hopes to « consumers, promote competition and spur innovation. » Apple, however, remains unconvinced.
No net public benefit – Apple pay changes
In a statement reported by ABC, Apple says the plans « will increase regulatory burden without a net public benefit, give rise to … regulatory error and stifle the dynamic innovation that has characterised Australia’s payment system over recent years. » Perhaps more convincingly, the company pointed out that Apple Pay can only operate with existing debit, credit, or prepaid cards, and doesn’t access or control any information about transactions or bank funds.
Bank ANZ says it supports the broadening of regulations and that the proposed reforms « would provide clarity and consistency of regulatory oversight of the payments system and entities that play a role in the system. » The changes would allow the Reserve Bank of Australia « to regulate digital wallet providers, like it already does with credit cards. »
Apple does have a service in Apple Card that falls more readily under these criteria, but it isn’t available in Australia yet, currently limited to just the states.