Tuesday, 25 September 2018 13:57

Fintechs overtake banks in digital payments usage: report

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Non-bank contactless/cardless mobile payment systems are now being used by more Australians than bank-owned solutions, with fintech market entrants like Apple Pay, Android Pay and Google Wallet taking market share from incumbents, according to a newly released report.

The usage is finely balanced at the moment, according to the report from research firm Roy Morgan, with 6.5% of Australians now using contactless and cardless mobile payment solutions, just ahead of 6.4% who still use bank-owned solutions.

On the marketshare front, the report — based on more than 50,000 face-to-face consumer interviews — shows that 93.6% of Australians aged over 14 are aware of at least one digital payment solution, and 72.4% have used at least one digital payment solution in the past 12 months.

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According to Roy Morgan, awareness of newer forms of digital payments is growing rapidly, with 57.3% of Australians aware of "tap and go" payment systems, 39.6% aware of bank-owned mobile payment systems, 46.4% of non-bank tap-and-go systems, and 35.2% aware of the emerging “buy-now-pay-later” payment systems.

But, the report also reveals that usage is lagging awareness considerably, with only 11.5% of Australians having used a tap-and-go payment system in the last 12 months, and only 6.7% of Australians having used a buy-now-pay-later digital solution over the same period

Other key findings from the Roy Morgan research include:

  • Two long-established systems still dominate digital payments, with the phone/online BPay service being used by 52.9% of Australians in the past year and the online Paypal service being used by 42% over the same period.
  • In the emerging buy-now pay-later space, 6% of Australians have used the Afterpay service in the past year, with competitors Zip Pay and Zip Money used by 1.4% and 0.6% respectively.
  • The most-used bank-owned tap-and-go payments system, from CBA (used by 4.1% of Australians in past 12 months), is still marginally ahead of the most-used non-bank tap-and-go solution, Apple Pay (used by 3.9% of Australians).

peter payment two

“One thing is clear – Australians love digital payments and the way we make payments is evolving quickly. The solutions being developed by the new market entrants and the incumbents not only help the consumer with a quicker and more convenient way to pay, but provide businesses with rich data on what the consumers are purchasing, how they are purchasing it, and where,” says Michele Levine, chief executive, Roy Morgan.

“The payment landscape will continue to evolve in the future.  We are already seeing innovative new companies, such as Afterpay, changing the way in which people purchase goods that they cannot immediately afford.  These ‘buy-now-pay-later’ companies may pose a threat to traditional payment types such as credit cards as well as traditional financial institutions as consumers can, in effect, access a small amount of credit instantly with no documentation.”

Levine says people can go about their daily activities without needing a physical wallet or card.

peter payment three

“This is being aided by the growing proliferation of smart phones and wearables with integrated payment technology such as Apple Pay and Google Pay, and an increasing number of financial institutions enabling their customers to make payments with these devices,” Levine says.

“People will come to expect the minimum amount of effort when making a payment and the industry will need to adapt to these changing expectations by providing more innovative and seamless solutions.  Traditional financial institutions may need to collaborate with Fintechs and other third parties to keep up with the rapidly changing digital payment landscape.”


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Peter Dinham

Peter Dinham - retired in 2020. He is a veteran journalist and corporate communications consultant. He has worked as a journalist in all forms of media – newspapers/magazines, radio, television, press agency and now, online – including with the Canberra Times, The Examiner (Tasmania), the ABC and AAP-Reuters. As a freelance journalist he also had articles published in Australian and overseas magazines. He worked in the corporate communications/public relations sector, in-house with an airline, and as a senior executive in Australia of the world’s largest communications consultancy, Burson-Marsteller. He also ran his own communications consultancy and was a co-founder in Australia of the global photographic agency, the Image Bank (now Getty Images).

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