An increasing number of Australians are going cashless with tap and go payments. Here’s a closer look at the growing trend of contactless payments in 2020 and how it affects consumers’ overall shopping experience.
Tap and go payments on the rise
According to a recent Mastercard Digital Purchasing Survey, an increasing number of Australians are going digital with 82% making tap and go payments each week, particularly in supermarkets (54%), general retail stores (22%), and petrol stations (11%).
Aussies are so keen to go cashless that 1 in 10 say they avoid shops that don’t accept tap and go payments while 33% have reported “feeling annoyed” upon discovering that a shop didn’t accept them, suggesting that cashless payments now affect Australian consumers’ decision on where to shop as well as their overall shopping experience.
For years, Australia had the highest use of tap and go cards in the world ahead of the United States, United Kingdom, Singapore, and New Zealand. The Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) reported that 83% of all point-of-sale card transactions in 2019 were contactless, up nearly 20% in three years.
A long-term trend
RBA believes that the trend is here to stay as consumers use tap and go cards more frequently for payments of all sizes, including low-value transactions. For instance, in-person card payments worth $10 or less increased by 20 percentage points to 51% in 2019 compared to three years prior.
Although tap and go has become the norm, surveys have found that mobile payments still have room for growth, with 26% of Australians saying that they were aware of contactless payment options on their mobile devices.
However, consumers are receptive to mobile payments, as 36% said that they would be open to using it, while more than half, or 54% of Australians, wanted to know more about digital wallets.
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Roy Morgan Digital Payments also observed a significant increase in Australians’ adoption of mobile contactless payment services compared to the previous year. The trend is more pronounced among consumers under 40.
Why Australians continue to embrace tap and go
- Convenience – Faster processing times, shortened face-to-face interactions, and no PIN requirement (unless paying more than $100) make shopping a quicker and hassle-free experience.
- Secure payments – According to Bambora APAC, contactless fraud rates are at a record low. Further 64% of Australians say that they are “not very” concerned about security issues with contactless payments. Built-in encryption, transaction codes, and spending limits (you’ll need a PIN for purchases worth more than $100) help prevent fraudulent transactions.
- Cash can be lost or stolen – Using tap and go cards is safer and poses less risk than carrying huge sums of cash when traveling or buying expensive items.
- Better loyalty programs – Banks often have digital loyalty programs for consumers that use tap and go payments, usually in the form of points that can be used to redeem certain rewards and prizes. These reward programs are a great way of encouraging spending and card use, giving banks the incentive to provide all kinds of perks.
How to use tap and go payments
To use tap and go, you must first check if the merchant takes tap and go payments. Let them know that this is your preferred payment option. You can make contactless payments at any store that accepts Mastercard PayPass and Visa payWave. The store should have a contactless payment symbol on their payment terminal.
Most establishments in major Australian towns and cities, like department stores, supermarkets, petrol stations, cafes, and public transportation systems, accept contactless payments.
After confirming that the transaction amount is correct, simply hold your card about 4cm above the payment terminal and hold while the machine process the transaction. You shouldn’t have to hand your card over or provide any card details. As mentioned earlier, you’ll only be asked for your PIN for transactions exceeding $100.
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