Australian consumers are at the forefront of mobile wallet use and adoption of digital banking tools, abandoning cash and physical payment experiences in larger numbers than the US or UK, according to a new survey from Marqeta, the global modern card issuing platform.
The company’s 2022 State of Consumer Money Movement report released – surveying 4,076 consumers across three continents, including more than 1,000 in Australia – examined how consumers across the US, United Kingdom and Australia want to pay, bank and shop.
What were the findings of Marqeta’s survey?
It shows that the changes in payment preferences bought on by the pandemic have become second nature to consumers, with Aussie consumers coming out far ahead in comfort with new digital payment methods. Reflecting a longtime shared investment by networks and retailers in contactless payments, 83% of Australians surveyed said they’d used a mobile wallet in the last year, coming in well ahead of UK (77%) and US (71%) survey respondents.
67% of Australians surveyed said the start of the pandemic had increased their mobile wallet use, with 95% saying their mobile wallet use had stayed the same, or increased, in the two years. 69% said they felt comfortable enough using a mobile wallet to leave their physical wallet at home, a figure 23% higher than the amount of Americans who said the same.
Australians surveyed gave mobile wallets higher marks for convenience than other survey respondents (90%) and more Australians said they could make mobile payments everywhere they wanted to (86%). Mobile wallet use among people surveyed was now almost twice as frequent as cash across Australia: 65% of Australians surveyed said they’d used a mobile wallet in the last week, while just 34% said they’d used cash.
Cash use is diminishing at a more rapid rate among Australians surveyed: 43% said they used cash less than they did a year ago (compared to 28% in the US) while 36% of Aussies said they were using ATMs less than the same time last year. Australians surveyed were twice as likely as Americans to say they never used cash (31% versus 15%) and two-out-of-three Australian consumers said that they could imagine a time when they don’t use cash at all.
What were Marqeta’s thoughts on the survey findings?
“Given its size and market, Australia has always been a great place to launch new technology, and major banks in Australia were investing in the technology for secure contactless payments well before mobile wallets started to get traction. It has put Australia at the forefront of a change across the world that has been accelerated dramatically post-pandemic,” said Duncan Currie, Country Manager for Australia and New Zealand, Marqeta.
“With our survey showing that two-thirds of Aussies are using their mobile wallets post-COVID, it shows just how ubiquitous they are becoming and the pressure on firms to build digital payment experiences that match how consumers want to interact with the economy.”
Not surprisingly, given high mobile wallet adoption and low cash use, Australian survey respondents had a considerably lower appetite for in-person banking experiences.
84% of Aussies surveyed said that they bank with a major financial institution with a physical branch network, but were six times more likely to say they regularly used their bank app (70%) versus regularly visiting their bank branch (12%), while 43% of Australians surveyed said if all physical banks were to shut tomorrow, it would have little impact on them.
How are Aussies embracing life post-pandemic?
Australians showed a high level of customer satisfaction with their banks, and were 56% more likely than UK or US respondents to say that they’d never changed their primary banking provider. Other notable findings from the Marqeta survey included:
- 93% of Australians surveyed said that they’d resumed shopping in person, yet 58% said the COVID-19 pandemic had changed their shopping behaviors forever.
- 30% said they owned crypto, with more 93% saying they held it like an asset.
- Australians surveyed had consistently lower usage rates for on demand delivery: 29% said they often order food, 22% groceries, 12% alcohol, 12% convenience store items, 7% prescriptions. These frequencies were lower on every count than US or UK respondents.
“The pandemic had the effect of moving the future up a little faster in banking and payments than some were thinking, with an increasing number of Marqeta customers’ cardholders even opting for digital cards entirely and forgoing plastic completely,” Currie continued.
“With a low unbanked population and good infrastructure to support contactless payments, the foundation is there in Australia to support top payment solutions. But firms will still need to build from flexible and modern tech to meet this rising demand,” Currie concluded.
Download the full report here.