A Guide to Digital Wallets and Mobile Payment Apps in Australia

Australians have fully embraced the digital wallet – in fact, they spent over $1 billion in digital wallet transactions in March 2020, setting a record 36 million transactions compared to 34 million in December 2019.

With so many digital wallets in the market, choosing the right one comes down to several factors, including mobile device compatibility, loyalty programs, features, perks, and rewards. Mobicity provides information on digital wallets and mobile payment methods.  

Here’s a rundown of the most widely used digital wallets and payment apps in Australia. 

Mastercard MasterPass MasterCard introduced its PayPass wallet services in 2012 and rolled out its newest digital wallet, MasterPass, in Australia back in early 2020. MasterPass is an upgrade from PayPass, enabling users to store and access a wide range of debit, credit, and prepaid cards for online purchases as well as make mobile payments with thousands of merchants locally and internationally. Their services include connected wallets, checkout, and value added services.  

  • Main advantage: Use your digital wallet to make quick and secure payments with hundreds of thousands of merchants. MasterPass comes from major player with an established global network that includes financial institutions, technology partners, and retailers around the world that provide robust support to Mastercard’s digital payment strategy. 

Visa payWave This digital wallet lets you “wave and go” at contactless POS terminals with your payment card.  It’s one of the most widely used digital wallets in Australia with over 28 million transactions across roughly 100,000 contactless terminals each month. The mobile version is called Mobile payWave, which lets you activate existing Visa prepaid, debit, and credit cards with your handset depending on your device capability and whether the financial institution you bank with offers mobile payments. 

  • Main advantage: Like Mastercard PayPass, Visa payWave is a major player with a massive global network. Visa payWave transactions have also been shown to 3x faster and more convenient than cash payments. 

Visa Checkout – Formerly known as V.me, Visa Checkout lets you save your credit card details in an account. It’s a quick and secure way of making online payments. It’s also compatible with major credit and debit cards to help you streamline your online payments. 

When using a mobile device, use the Visa Checkout widget or click the button on the merchant’s page. It automatically fills out your credit card details to help you breeze through checkout. 

  • Main advantage: You may get special discounts and offers from a wide range of online merchants accepting Visa Checkout.   

CommBank Tap & Pay – Commonwealth Bank of Australia (CBA) supports MasterCard and American Express (Amex) credit card payments in addition to debit card functionality via the CommBank Tap & Pay app on Android devices with near-field communication (NFC) technology and CommBank PayTag for iPhone users. CommBank is the first bank to offer Amex payments on mobile devices across Australia.

  • Main advantage: Track spending via the CommBank app and get access to their rewards program, loyalty cards, rebates, and other perks. 

PayPal Launched in 2000, PayPal can be used to shop with thousands of merchants around the world. Aside from secure Internet transfers, PayPal also offers a suite of Pay Later services, which includes Pay After Delivery and Pay in 4, the platform’s take on the Buy Now, Pay Later (BNPL) model. 

  • Main advantage: Aside from aggressive anti-hacking and anti-phishing measures, PayPal also lets consumers contest transactions and request refunds if they’ve been scammed or misled by unscrupulous sellers.   

Apple Pay – You can link debit, credit, and prepaid cards to the Wallet app in your Apple device and use it to make purchases at any shop that has a contactless or Apple Pay logo at the payment terminal. Apple Pay accounted for 6.5% of non-bank contactless payments in Australia in Q1 2020 with all four major banks supporting the platform.  

  • Main advantage: Linking multiple points-earning cards to your Apple Pay wallet lets you choose which card will bag you more rewards with your current purchase or transaction. Apple Card, a credit card that can be used with Apple Play, gives you 3% cash back rewards on Apple purchases and transactions with Apple retailers in addition to 2% cash back on most non-Apple purchases.

Samsung Pay This mobile payment service lets you link credit and loyalty cards from participating institutions and lets you make purchases using a compatible Samsung handset. 

  • Main advantage: Samsung Pay lets users make bigger purchases of $100 to $200 without having to use the PIN pad at the Point of Sale (PoS). The digital wallet uses a more convenient Consumer Device Cardholder Verification Method (CDCVM) to verify higher value purchases via iris, fingerprint, or PIN their own handset. 

Google Pay Google lets you make purchases with millions of stores while keeping your information secure. You can also use the app to send money requests to friends and family. Google Pay accounted for 3.9% of digital wallet usage in Q1 2020. 

Stocard Launched in 2017, Stocard lets you store over 100 Australia loyalty cards and quite a few international ones, too. That includes major Australian loyalty cards like Woolworths Rewards, Qantas Frequent Flyer, Gloria Jean’s eSipper™, and more.  

  • Main advantage: Never have to miss out on rewards when making online and in-store purchases with Stocard. The Card Assistant feature also prompts you to use your digital loyalty card and redeem rewards when you come within close proximity relevant stores. 

Digital wallets are constantly changing as platforms roll out new features. Subscribe to Mobicity for news and updates on digital wallets and mobile payments in Australia. 

Clarence James

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