February 21, 2024

The number of Australians paying by phone or smartwatch has doubled in three years, from 19% in 2019 to 38% in 2022. Australian Banking Association.

More and more consumers in the region are leaving their physical wallets at home and paying with PayID instead. PayID is an infrastructure developed in partnership between the Australian Monetary Authority and the Reserve Bank. This is a feature that links to a user’s bank account to facilitate sending and receiving money. Currently, PayID has 15 million signups, up from 6 million in 2021.

According to the Australian Banking Association, the use of digital wallets is particularly prominent among younger consumers. In fact, two-thirds of this 18-24 age group rely on smartphones or wearable devices for payments. This group tends to be more tech-savvy and eager to adopt the latest technology.

Fewer Australians are going to their local bank branch

While bank branches still offer a lot of value to consumers – especially for those looking to perform more complex transactions or want to interact face-to-face with bankers – fewer Australian consumers are visiting their local bank branches. In fact, 70% of Australians say they haven’t been anywhere in the past month.

In stark contrast, just 3 per cent of Australians said they had visited their local bank branch three or more times in the previous month, and only 4 per cent said they had visited a local branch to pay their bills.

Instead, consumers in Australia are turning to digital for their banking needs. For example, 56% of respondents said they use a mobile banking app, while 31% said they prefer to bank online, possibly using a desktop or laptop computer.

“The shift in national payment preferences is happening fast and this new website provides a comprehensive snapshot of the latest trends,” said ABA Chief Executive Anna Bligh. “The website is designed to be interactive and easy to navigate and update, with Help explain the current state of our payments system in Australia.”