The biggest shake-up to Australia’s payment system in the quarter century will take place under plans to strengthen the rules surrounding services like cryptocurrencies, buy now, pay later, and Apple Pay.
Treasury Secretary Josh Frydenberg will announce a major reform on Wednesday, giving him greater power to intervene in rapidly evolving regions operating under regulations designed in the 1990s. ..
“The comprehensive payment and crypto asset reform plan I have announced will firmly position Australia among the few major countries in the world,” Frydenberg said.
“This represents the most important reform of our payment system in 25 years.”
Cryptocurrencies are one of the most urgent areas to consider, and the government wants to strengthen consumer protection and clarify its obligations to businesses.
Currently, the provision, purchase and sale of crypto assets in Australia is largely unregulated.
It is not treated as a financial product under the Companies Act. This means that if something goes wrong, there is little that one can do.
Discussions on the new licensing framework will begin next year and will also seek advice on the best way to implement the new and appropriate crypto tax policy.
The government will also consider introducing more restrictions on the charges charged to Buy Now Pay Later and digital wallet users.
Buy Now PayLater accounts for about 20% of Australia’s online retail transactions and has over 5 million active accounts.
Currently, almost half of Australia’s population pays by mobile phone. This is a trend that surged during the pandemic.
However, services such as Apple Pay, Google Pay, and AfterPay do not currently fall under the Payment System Regulation Act.
This makes it difficult for the government and the Reserve Bank of Australia to monitor the charges charged to promote system use and market competition.
Discussions on how to modernize the framework of this payment system will begin next year under plan.
“For consumers, these changes will support the increased use of crypto assets and establish a regulatory framework to clarify the treatment of new payment methods,” Frydenberg said.
“For businesses, these reforms address the ambiguities that may exist regarding the regulatory and tax treatment of crypto assets and new payment methods.
“By doing so, it raises the interest of more consumers, encourages more new entrants, and enables more innovation.”
Frydenberg said Australia needs to take advantage of new technologies and noted that the world’s crypto assets are currently worth US $ 2 trillion.
“These are important changes that we need to be in front of us. If we embrace these developments, Australia has a great opportunity to take advantage of the convergence between finance and technology. Is obvious. “
Australia reforms rules on cryptocurrencies, buy now, pay later, digital wallets
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