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Australia's APRA wants to supervise digital wallets like Facebook's Calibra

Image by Alpari Org from Flickr

Wed, 22 Jan 2020, 04:46 am UTC

The Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA) has proposed to the senate that it wants to supervise digital wallets.

In a proposal submitted to the Senate Select Committee on fintech and regtech (regulatory technology), APRA noted the growing role of digital wallets in the financial system.

The existing regulatory framework for digital wallets involves three regulators —the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA), APRA, and the Australian Securities and Investment Commission (ASIC). APRA's role in the current framework is “to license and supervise larger providers of widely used facilities that hold stored value under the Purchased Payments Facilities (PPF) framework.”

The current framework is being reviewed by the RBA, ASIC, APRA and the Treasury through the Council of Financial Regulators (CFR) in order to “reduce complexity, increase competition and foster innovation, leading to improved consumer outcomes.”

As such, the CFR has recommended a new framework for stored-value facilities that is “simplified, easier to understand and navigate.” It also seeks to regulate entities in proportion to the risks of their activities.

“The new framework is intended not only to be fit for purpose for the current financial system but also be able to accommodate future developments and technological advances, such as proposal for globe stable coin eco-systems that have been the subject of significant attention in recent months,” the document read before specifying APRA’s role in the new framework.

“Under this proposal, APRA’s role in the framework would be to oversee wallets that are widely used as a means of payment and store significant value for a reasonable amount of time (e.g. potentially Facebook’s Calibra proposal). APRA’s framework would not be expected to capture digital wallets that are primarily used to pass payments through (e.g. Apple Pay).”

Meanwhile, Kraken announced that they just acquired Bit Trade. The company is now aiming to be Australia’s premier crypto service with the best AUD liquidity, trading experience and customer for both of its institutional and retail clients.

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