Data from the Roy Morgan Digital Payments Report shows a sharp increase in use of non-bank contactless mobile payment services compared to a year ago.

A total of 10.8 per cent of Australians now use non-bank contactless mobile payment services such as Apple Pay and Google Pay, up from 7.1 per cent a year ago. Apple Pay is now used by 6.5 per cent (up from 4.1 per cent) and Google Pay is now used by 4.1 per cent (up from 3.6 per cent). Samsung Pay was unchanged at 1 per cent.

“COVID-19 has put personal hygiene front and centre for Australians and this includes the way we pay for goods and services. Many retailers are requesting contactless payment be used rather than handling cash to reduce the opportunities for passing on COVID-19,” said Roy Morgan CEO, Michele Levine.

“However even before COVID-19 came to Australia and changed the way we live, the use of contactless mobile payment services was rapidly increasing. For many people this means ‘tap-and-pay’ with a bank-issued card, but more than one in ten Australians (10.8 per cent) now use one of the contactless payment services offered by big tech companies Apple, Google or Samsung,” Levine said.

“Apple Pay in particular has enjoyed impressive growth over the past year, with 6.5 per cent of Australians now using the service, up from 4.1 per cent a year ago.”

Use of non-bank contactless/cardless mobile payments: 2017 cf. 2018 cf. 2019

Source: Roy Morgan Single Source Australia, April 2017 – March 2018, n=50,014, April 2018 – March 2019, n=51,362, April 2019 – March 2020, n=50,250. Base: Australians 14+.

Analysing take-up of non-bank contactless mobile payment services confirms that the young trend- and tech-focused are the most likely to use these services, with more than one in six (16.9 per cent) in this community using either Apple Pay, Google Pay or Samsung Pay.

Also taking quickly to the frictionless convenience of the new services are the big spending consumers (12.2 per cent) and highly ambitious and culturally diverse up-and-comers aspirational consumers (12.1 per cent).

Levine suggests there are opportunities for nimble fintech firms to grow their market amongst Australians concerned about the health risks payments requiring contact.

“At a time when all Australians are being encouraged to social distance and hand-sanitise to prevent the spread of the deadly COVID-19 coronavirus, there are clear benefits for many people, particularly older Australians (70+) and those suffering from a pre-existing serious illness, to increase their usage of safer contactless payment services.”

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