Online shopping could make us cashless by 2021

Ceyda Erem

25 Jun 2020

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In March, Aussies across the country were advised to ditch cash as a method of payment to prevent the spread of COVID-19. And according to new research by Buy Now, Pay Later (BNPL) provider, Zip, the COVID-19 pandemic may have been the final nail in the coffin for cash. 

The BNPL platform found that ATM usage is at an all time low, down by 43% in May, while online spending has reportedly doubled compared to this time last year, up by 89%. 

Zip co-founder Peter Gray says this preferred way to pay could even be the push many Aussie retailers need to take their business online. 

“For businesses the move to online and creation of frictionless payment routes is crucial. Online will become the biggest battleground for Australian retailers,” he said. “At this rate, it’s not unreasonable to consider Australia could be almost cashless by 2021.” 

Similar research by Mastercard revealed that 30% of consumers plan on making more online purchases in the future, while 51% plan to use less cash and 21% use contactless credit card payments as their preferred way to pay. 

The vast majority (71%) of respondents even believe that contactless payments are here to stay while on a global scale, six out of 10 think digital payments will become a permanent part of everyday life. 

“The digital economy is the future and there’s no doubt consumers and merchants are embracing this evolution. Now that people are experiencing and expecting the security, simplicity and seamlessness of digital commerce, there’s just no turning back,” said Mastercard products and innovation executive, Sandeep Malhotra.

3 quick tips for safer online shopping 

As online shopping continues to grow in popularity, so does the opportunity for scam, fraud and nasty fees you didn’t expect. So if you’re thinking of taking your shopping purely online, here are three quick tips for a seamless experience: 

Choose your plastic wisely - The last thing you want when shopping online is to cop a pesky foreign exchange transaction fee. What’s even more frustrating is that they can even occur when shopping at an online store in Australia. Research by the ACCC revealed that while a store may be Aussie, they might still process transactions internationally. So do yourself and your wallet a favour by opting to use a credit card that charges zero foreign transaction fees. 

Trust your gut - If you come across an online store that doesn’t look quite right, leave the page. This could include things like typos or low resolution images on the page, no contact details or asking for payment in the form of gift cards or vouchers.  

Read reviews - Before you give any online store a go, research previous customer reviews first. This will give you a bird’s eye view about the quality of the products or services and level of customer service.

Need a credit card that can keep up with your online shopping habits? The head on over to our credit card comparison tool to find your next plastic match!  

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