CommBank: More Aussies embrace digital wallets amid COVID-19 restrictions

Ceyda Erem

09 Apr 2020

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From Zoom conference meetings to doing morning workouts in the garage, many Aussies have had to make adjustments to their regular routines over the last few weeks, including the way we pay. 

According to new research from CommBank, many Aussies have taken to contactless payments swimmingly. 

The bank found that in March, digital wallet transactions, such as Apple, Google or Samsung Pay increased by 17% from February and outran the average monthly growth rate of 6.7%. 

More than half (77%) of transactions were paid with a debit card, while only 21% of shoppers preferred to use their credit card

Overall, there were approximately 36 million wallet transactions in March with the total spend hitting a whopping $1 billion. 

“The growth in the number of contactless purchases has been increasing since the introduction of Apple Pay last year, however it’s now evident that even more people regard it as a safe and secure way to pay in this environment,” said Kate Crous, Executive General Manager of Everyday Banking for CBA. 

Two weeks ago, Mozo reported on the recommendations by the World Health Organisation, asking shoppers to consider tap-and-go payments over cash to help stop the spread of COVID-19. 

And while Crous was pleased to see Aussies taking precautions by opting to pay via contactless payment, she still encouraged taking things one step further by ditching plastic altogether. 

“The increased contactless card limit is a fantastic step, however where possible we’re encouraging our customers to use digital wallets as they have the added safety of not needing to enter a PIN on the PIN Pad no matter how much they spend, as it instead leverages touch ID or Face ID,” she said. 

Australian Payments Network steps up to stop the spread

And as more Aussies continue to say goodbye to cash, the Australian Payments Networks also announced it would be increasing the contactless card limit from $100 to $200 for the next three months.

“The increased limit is a pragmatic and important response to a changing environment. Consumers are tending to buy more, less often. The new $200 contactless limit will mean fewer consumers need to touch the payment terminal,” said CEO, Andy White. 

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