Would you switch banks to make mobile payments via your iPhone or Apple Watch?

By Ben Tosi ·

Digitally-savvy, extremely loyal smartphone customers want to use their phones and watches to make payments and new research has found a large portion of Aussies are willing to switch banking providers to do so.

Chances are, if you’re reading this, you’re on your smartphone - that’s because according to the Telsyte Australian Smartphone and Wearable Devices Market Study, there are currently 19.3 million, extremely loyal smartphone users in Australia.

The study, released today, revealed repeat purchase rates - that is replacing your old phone with an updated model from the same manufacturer - of 85% and 70% for Apple and Samsung customers, respectively.

RELATED: Apple Pay joins eftpos for ANZ Access customers

“As the smartphone market has matured, platform loyalty is at an all-time high, creating almost two unique marketplaces,” Telsyte’s Managing Director, Foad Fadaghi said.

We want our banks in our hands and on our wrists

Aussies have been quick to embrace (where possible) mobile payment technologies. In fact Deloitte’s Mobile Consumer Survey, released last year, recorded a 25% growth in mobile payments in Australia over the preceding 12 months.

But with so few banking providers offering a comprehensive set of mobile payment services, Telsyte’s research has found that Aussies are actually willing to ditch not their smartphones, but their banks.

According to the research, one in five iPhone users would be more likely to bank with a provider if it supported Apple Pay services.

The even more staggering finding, however, was that 32% of Apple Watch users would consider switching banks if it meant they could make payments simply by tapping their watch.

Fadaghi says that these results are putting pressure on Aussie banks - in particular, those who aren’t currently supporting Apple Pay services.

“There are some pressures on the banks that haven't provided Apple Pay, given that there are so many Apple users and they tend to be a lucrative bunch,” he told Fairfax Media.

“We can understand why Apple users are looking for Apple support (from their banks), given how deeply they're into the Apple ecosystem.”

RELATED: 10 banking buzzwords you must know in 2018

So, who offers what when it comes to mobile payments?

In an effort to find out just which banking providers offered mobile payment services, Mozo dug deep into its bank account database and found the following.

Of the 107 bank accounts in the database at the time of writing, just 31 offered Apple Pay services - that’s less than 30% - while 39 offered Android Pay and 33, Samsung Pay.

With Samsung smartphone users often able to choose between either Samsung or Android Pay, they generally have more options than Apple users when it comes to mobile payments and that only continues when we take into account the big four banks.

Currently, only ANZ provide Apple Pay but all four support Android Pay services with Westpac and ANZ going that little bit further to make Samsung Pay another option for customers.

What’s next for mobile payments in Australia?

In March last year, the ACCC ruled against a plan to boycott Apple Pay from some of the country’s biggest banks and opt for their own mobile payments services but since then there has been little movement on the Apple Pay front.

“Apple Wallet and other multi-issuer digital wallets could increase competition between the banks by making it easier for consumers to switch between card providers and limiting any ‘lock in’ effect bank digital wallets may cause,” ACCC Chairman Rod Sims said.

But with mobile payments continuing to grow and Aussies now showing a willingness to switch providers based on the services they offer, could 2018 be the year your bank account becomes compatible with Apple Pay?

For a full rundown of what mobile payments are, who offers them and what is on the horizon, check out our guide to paying with your smartphone (or smartwatch). Or if you’d like to find a bank account that supports how you want to pay, check out a range of popular options using Mozo’s bank account comparison tables.