Tuesday, 15 December 2020 11:27

Survey claims nearly half Australians making payments from mobiles

Survey claims nearly half Australians making payments from mobiles Pixabay

A survey of 1000 Australians has found that about half (48 percent) are now using their smartphones to make payments, either through use of an app — including mobile banking — or else through other functionality.

The global survey, the first such conducted by payment solutions provider Mastercard and released as the Australian State of Pay report, also found that 43% of the Australians who took part said they used digital wallets when making payments using their mobiles.

A total of 14,000 people were surveyed in 14 countries including Australia; this report will focus only on the findings about Australia. The full report can be seen here.

Half of the Australians who participated said they used in-app payments, while a much smaller percentage, 12%, said they used QR codes to make payments.

Again, nearly half (46%) had made a payment using a credit card through a mobile phone browser.

"The COVID-19 pandemic has rapidly accelerated the use of the latest digital technologies and fuelled the evolution of new payment forms in Australia," said Richard Wormald, division president, Mastercard Australasia.

He said non-digital based payment methods were becoming less dominant, "with even the most reluctant consumers and businesses in Australia trying digital banking and payment technologies for the first time".

Other findings of the survey (all Australia only):

Use of cash

  • fifty-one percent will use cash less in the future as a result of the coronavirus;
  • forty-seven percent say it is not as convenient to pay with cash compared to other payment methods; and
  • fifty percent say paying with cash is only appropriate when paying small amounts.

Fraud/financial crime

  • fifty-four percent are worried about being the victim of financial crime or fraud; and
  • seventy percent of Australians who have been a victim of fraud in the past 12 months now feel more stressed.

Future digital solutions/open banking

  • fifty-eight percent of Australians are interested in new services banks and payments companies offer, so long as they make their life easier;
  • sixty-four percent like the idea of a tool that allows them to set and manage a budget or track your spending; and
  • fifty-seven percent like the idea of personalised offers and deals for products and services i.e. loans, utilities, insurance.

Current digital solutions

  • twenty-seven percent of Australians state that it is appealing to pay a friend or family member via a chat app such as WhatsApp;
  • forty-five percent of Australians like the idea of receiving wages/salary at more frequent intervals to help them manage their finances more effectively as 50 percent worry about running out of money between paydays; and
  • forty-eight percent of Australians wish mobile payments were more widely available where they shop.

Impact on business

  • seventy percent of businesses in Australia say the pandemic had a negative impact on their business's cash flow;
  • sixty percent of businesses are interested in increasing the amount of payments they make digitally in the next 12 months; and.
  • twenty-nine percent of businesses would like to try new payment options as and when they become available.


When it comes to paying for items through a mobile smartphone service, Australians would be most likely to select providers as follows:

  • sixty-nine percent would be more likely to use a smartphone when paying for things if the service was provided by their own bank;
  • sixty-four percent would be more likely to select a payments technology company;
  • forty-eight percent would be more likely to select a service provider recommended by their bank;
  • forty-one percent would be more likely to choose a well-known IT company;
  • twenty-three percent would be more likely to choose a social media company; and
  • thirty-seven percent would be more likely to use a government-recommended initiative.

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Sam Varghese

Sam Varghese has been writing for iTWire since 2006, a year after the site came into existence. For nearly a decade thereafter, he wrote mostly about free and open source software, based on his own use of this genre of software. Since May 2016, he has been writing across many areas of technology. He has been a journalist for nearly 40 years in India (Indian Express and Deccan Herald), the UAE (Khaleej Times) and Australia (Daily Commercial News (now defunct) and The Age). His personal blog is titled Irregular Expression.

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