Aussies hooked on mobile wallets and digital payments, new report shows

hand with credit card coming out of phone representing tap and pay and using mobile wallet or digital payment in Australia

If you’ve become reliant on digital payments over the past few years, you’re in good company. The State of Consumer Money Movement Report 2022, issued by card-issuing platform Marqeta, shows that a much higher rate of Australians have adopted mobile wallet usage than our UK and US counterparts.

While more than 80% of Aussies say they have used digital wallets in the past 12 months, that figure is only 71% for the US and 77% for the UK. These figures are up year-on-year across the board, and it looks like a lot of this has to do with lingering habits from the COVID-19 pandemic and lockdowns.

Looking more in-depth to the Australian audience, app-comparison website GetApp conducted a similar survey to gauge Aussie feelings on the topic. 

How are Aussies using mobile wallets?

By and large, mobile wallets have begun to take the place of cash and even physical debit cards and credit cards. Of mobile wallet users surveyed, 79% use theirs to make payments - only 43% said they use them for loyalty cards and 40% said they store their digital ID in them.

The pandemic played a big role in pushing Australians further towards mobile wallet use. Though historically we have been early adopters of payment technologies, this specific boost can largely be attributed to habits picked up when the Department of Health recommended Aussies ditch cash for digital to slow down COVID spread.

In fact, 78% of surveyed mobile wallet users cited the pandemic as having brought them more towards digital payments.

While many may have stuck to it out of habit, 78% of surveyed digital wallet users find the method more convenient than digging around for their card. A further 26% enjoy the ease of demonstrating their identity with digital ID as opposed to a physical card (no more leaving your licence at home on a night out).

Not everyone is keen to ditch cards for digital

There were significant concerns around mobile wallets that have some people holding on tightly to their cash and cards.

Most of those concerns came from worries around card security. This has been an especially hot topic with high profile hacks this year at companies like Optus and Medibank.

Others hold concerns about the physical nature of a phone in the same way they might a wallet - 59% of those surveyed expressed worry about their details being at risk if their phone was stolen, and of those who use mobile wallets, 38% flagged the difficulty of being unable to access payments if their phone runs out of battery.

In today’s tech-heavy society, some also mention the concern of becoming more reliant on their mobile phones. However, mobile banking can also be an incredibly helpful tool for people trying to use their money more effectively or to look for better options with online providers.

Whether you like the feel of a card in your hand or prefer using your phone, take a look at our Best Credit Cards to find some options.

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