Money Transfer Industry Update - Australia Regulates Bitcoin, PayPal in India, and Ripple

| |

Australia Regulates Digital Currencies for the First Time

After Commonwealth Bank of Australia seriously violated laws on money laundering and the financing of terrorism, Australia plans to strengthen its anti-money laundering legislation and regulate digital currencies, such as bitcoin, for the first time.  The country’s financial crime fighting agency, Austrac, will be granted more investigative and enforcement authority.  These latest regulatory reforms include deregulation of lower-risk sectors of the money transfer industry, such as cash-in-transit.

Australia is following the lead of Japan, which became the first nation to require regulation of digital currencies.  As of October 1st, all alternative coin exchange or money transfer businesses operating in Japan must be supervised by Japan Financial Services Agencies.  Such businesses have to comply with “know your customer” legislation and may be targeted for annual audits.  These new rules led to record-breaking bitcoin values, because they made the currency seem more official and entrenched.

Ripple Expands its Cross-Border Payment Solution into China

The blockchain startup Ripple recently announced plans to establish operations in China while simultaneously dispelling rumors that Alibaba would help them do so.  A chat site that focuses on Ripple and its technology had speculated incorrectly that Alibaba was running a validator node on Ripple’s network. 

Ripple aims to make cross-border payments move as quickly over the internet as information does through its growing global network of financial institutions.  While Ripple recently added 10 major banks from around the world to its network, including BBVA in Spain and MUFG in Japan, China has yet to join.  However, Emi Yoshikawa , Ripple’s director of joint venture partnership, anticipates a strong need there:  “…the large Chinese e-commerce market currently lacks a highly efficient and low-cost solution.”

PayPal Aims to Capitalize on Innovation and Expertise in India

Bangalore.jpg

 

India boasts a vast supply of entrepreneurial energy and technical know-how, so it was a logical choice as the next location for PayPal’s innovation labs.  The money transfer giant plans to open one lab in Chennai and another in Bangalore.  Similar facilities already exist in Singapore and the US.  Mike Todasco, PayPal’s director of innovation, described the purpose of the labs:  “fueling new age technology and giving rise to unconventional ideas with the potential to transform the ecosystem we operate in.”  Lab researchers’ areas of focus will include data science, virtual reality, artificial intelligence, and the Internet of Things.

Apple Excluded from Mobile Payment Deal with Beijing Transit

China contains the world’s largest mobile payments market, with over $8.8 trillion in transactions last year.  But Apple can’t seem to carve out a substantial share for itself—despite being an early frontrunner—and the latest development isn’t helping.  Yikatong, Beijing’s public transport company, recently launched an app that allows passengers to pay for trips with their smartphones.  Given that Apple restricts contactless payments to Apple Pay instead of allowing third party apps, however, it was shut out of this deal.    

Tencent’s WeChat Pay and Alibaba’s Alipay have long left Apple Pay in the Chinese dust.  They claim 38 percent and 50 percent respectively of China's mobile transactions market, whereas Apple Pay falls under 1 percent.  Consequently, Apple Pay has yet to join the country’s list of top ten mobile payment apps.  What’s more, sales of Android-based smartphones in greater China continue to grow, while sales of the iPhone decline.  Tech experts think that Apple’s policy on third party apps needs to change for these trends to reverse.  Mark Natkin, managing director of Marbridge Consulting in Beijing states,  “It potentially locks them out of a variety of initiatives, particularly the major push in China to introduce smart city initiatives.”

 


Marisa Fasciano
Content Specialist
Marisa is a communications consultant based in New York with a background in social research, diversity education, and nonprofit development.  She has lived and traveled abroad extensively… Read more

Most Read

Use Our Currency Comparison Tool

Editor's Choice

FXcompared.com is an fx money comparison site for international money transfer and to compare rates from currency brokers for sending money abroad. The website and the information provided is for informational purposes only and does not constitute an offer, solicitation or advice on any financial service or transaction. None of the information presented is intended to form the basis for any investment decision, and no specific recommendations are intended.  FXC Group Ltd and FX Compared Ltd does not provide any guarantees of any data from third parties listed on this website. FX compared Ltd expressly disclaims any and all responsibility for any direct or consequential loss or damage of any kind whatsoever arising directly or indirectly from (i) any error, omission or inaccuracy in any such information or (ii) any action resulting therefrom.