Apple pushes back against Australia Apple Pay changes that would see service treated like a credit card, even though it isn't one

Apple Pay paying for coffee
(Image credit: Pexels)

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. 

Stephen Warwick
News Editor

Stephen Warwick has written about Apple for five years at iMore and previously elsewhere. He covers all of iMore's latest breaking news regarding all of Apple's products and services, both hardware and software. Stephen has interviewed industry experts in a range of fields including finance, litigation, security, and more. He also specializes in curating and reviewing audio hardware and has experience beyond journalism in sound engineering, production, and design. Before becoming a writer Stephen studied Ancient History at University and also worked at Apple for more than two years. Stephen is also a host on the iMore show, a weekly podcast recorded live that discusses the latest in breaking Apple news, as well as featuring fun trivia about all things Apple. Follow him on Twitter @stephenwarwick9