Change is pretty well the only constant when it comes to consumer payments. In Australia, we have seen a rapid uptake in contactless card use as well as increased use of online payments. Conversely, we have seen a rapid decline in personal cheque use as well as an ever-diminishing use of cash. Monitoring changing payment usage can be notoriously difficult. The Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) and APCA collect and publish statistics from industry participants on cheques, cards and electronic payments as well the number of ATMs and POS devices. However, other types of usage such as cash use and the split between card-present (point-of-sale) and card-not-present (internet, telephone and mail) transactions are more difficult to track. Consumers and merchants don’t regularly record or report their own payments activity – meaning we only get a partial picture of how payments use is evolving.
Cheques now represent just 1.2% of all non-cash transactions as Australians show a clear preference for electronic payment methods.
Over the past 10 years, cheque use has declined by nearly 73% and the rate of decline is accelerating. Simultaneously, cash use is declining with ATM use dropping a further 6.6% in the 2016 financial year.
These declines have been driven by the continued increase of digital transactions. The use of debit and credit cards grew by 12.1% this year, while direct entry use increased by 7.2%. Supporting this growth is the increase in digital literacy. Over 65s in Australia are embracing online banking with over half of older internet users performing online banking transactions. Meanwhile, online spend is diversifying as it matures. Takeaway Food had the fastest annual growth of 56.1% with overall online sales up by 13.5%.
Check out our Australia’s Digital Economy Infographic below or click here to read the full Milestones Report November 2016.