15 March 2017

Digital payment methods popular in Australia

The latest Mastercard Digital Purchasing Survey* reveals that Australian consumers are continuously embracing digital payment technology, with more than four in five (82%) Australians using tap and go (contactless methods) to make payments every week. In fact, over one third of Australians have been annoyed when a store did not offer tap and go, and one in ten even avoid such a store.

Australians are using contactless cards most frequently at supermarkets (54%), general retail stores (22%), and petrol stations (11%).

Garry Duursma, Head of Market Development and Payment Innovation for Mastercard Australia and New Zealand, said, “Overall Australians see tap and go as a convenient and time saving way to pay. The survey findings indicate an increasing demand on retailers to take advantage of more innovative payment methods, with the majority of Australians believing that businesses that offer contactless technology are making it easier for their customers. Almost half of Australians are looking for a better and more enhanced shopping experience.”

Consumers are also becoming more aware of the benefits of contactless in security terms, with contactless card payments offering the same level of protection as chip and pin payments. In fact, Mastercard’s Zero Liability on card payments means that contactless is also safer than carrying cash, which could be lost or stolen. The increase in confidence in the security of contactless as a method of payment is demonstrated in the research findings, which show 64% of Australians are now ‘not very’ concerned about security when using contactless, up from 46% in 2014.

“Australians have largely embraced contactless payments as a part of their everyday lives, indicating that consumers are starting to gain a real understanding and appreciation for the benefits of contactless,” said Duursma. “There are a wealth of innovative payment technologies available to consumers today, and given the positive uptake in Australia, we expect to see more developments in this area, as people continually look for convenience and time saving in their busy lives.”

While tap and go becomes ubiquitous, survey findings indicate that mobile payments remain a growth area in Australia, with only one quarter (26%) of Australian consumers responding that they are aware of having contactless payment options on their mobile phone. Of those that are not aware of having a contactless option on their phone, 36% say that they would consider using it and over half (54%) of all Australians wish they knew more about digital wallet technology – an attitude that represents a positive trend towards adoption.

Globally, Mastercard is shaping the digital future by creating new and secure ways for consumers to pay across all channels and devices – from digital wallets to tokenisation to new solutions in safety and security.

Detailed findings:

Tap and go/contactless
  • More than four in five (82%) Australians are using tap and go/contactless every week.
  • Eighty-four percent of males, 79% of females
  • Eighty-eight percent of Millennials, 83% of Generation X, 72% of Baby Boomers
  • In terms of geographies, 85% come from New South Wales/Australian Capital Territory (NSW/ACT) compared to 74% South Australia (SA) and 72% from Western Australia (WA)
  • This is up from 76% of Australians in December 2015
The benefits of tap and go/contactless continue to be clearly perceived as convenience and time saving.
  • Eight in 10 (81%) of all Australians say that it ‘saves time / quick’ and this increases to 86% among ‘daily’ users (up from 77% December 2015)
  • Eighty percent of all Australians say that it is convenient and easy (up from 75% in December 2015)
  • One third of Australians have been annoyed at some time that a store hasn’t offered tap and go/contactless technology. Nearly half (46%) of Millennials say this compared to 20% of Baby Boomers
  • One in ten (11%) Australians have at some occasion avoided a store that didn’t offer tap and go / contactless. Fifteen percent of Millennials say this compared to 5% of Baby Boomers 
  • Seven in 10 (71%) Australians say that businesses that do offer contactless/tap and go technology are making it easier for their customers (up from 62% in December 2015). A third say that these businesses are ‘modern and innovative’
Almost half (43 %) of Australians are looking for a better and more enhanced shopping experience.
Concern about using contactless transactions at shops and petrol stations continues to recede. The majority (64%) of Australians are now ‘not very concerned’ about security when using tap and go/contactless (compared to 58% in December 2015 and 46% in 2014).

Contactless payments via mobile

One quarter (26%) of Australians are aware of having contactless payment options on their mobile phone.
  • This was reported by 34% of Millennials, 24% of Generation X, 18% of Baby Boomers
  • A third (35%) of people who use tap and go/contactless every day have tap and go on their mobile phone
  • Of those respondents that are aware that they have mobile contactless capability, 28% make use of it weekly and 72% less often

*This study was conducted online during December 2016 using a sample of 1,000 Australians aged between 18 and 64 years old across Australia. Age, gender and area quotas were applied to the sample.