Mobile wallet spending surges over holiday period

Spending with mobile wallets is likely to become as much a part of Christmas as ugly jumpers and awkward small talk with relatives. ANZ data show a significant rise in the volume of mobile wallet transactions in December 2017, up 140 per cent on the previous corresponding period. 

The Christmas spike saw ANZ customers make around 23 per cent more transactions using mobile wallets in December compared with the previous three-month average. 

“The rapid increase in the popularity of mobile wallets demonstrates a strong demand among consumers for greater choice over the way they pay.”

The number of mobile wallet transactions as a proportion of total card based spending more than doubled in the period.

In December ANZ customers favoured their smartphones and wearables for 4.5 per cent of all transactions, compared with 2 per cent for the same time last year.

ANZ data show mobile wallet transactions reached 3.9 million in December, compared with 1.6 million in the same month in 2016.

New tech

Mobile wallets are still a relatively new technology, with options for consumers being rolled out progressively in Australia. Looking back over 18 months the sustained emerging growth in transaction volumes is clear as adoption builds. 

This trend is not just an Australian one, with rapid adoption of mobile wallet payments being seen and predicted around the globe. According to Statista global mobile wallet payments should exceed $US1 trillion in 2021. 

Australians generally like to use their mobile wallets to pay for groceries, dining out or fuelling up, with 62 per cent of ANZ’s mobile wallet transactions made either at a supermarket, fast-food outlet, restaurant, service station or convenience store. 

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Strong demand

The rapid increase in the popularity of mobile wallets demonstrates a strong demand among consumers for flexible on-the-go payments and greater choice over the way they pay.

This Christmas we also saw growth in payments driven by wearable devices, with over five thousand payments made using Fitbit Pay & Garmin Pay.

We expect these trends to progress well into 2018 and beyond as more and more consumers continue to ditch cash in exchange for flexible, convenient mobile payments.

Steve Price is Senior Manager Everyday Banking, Australia at ANZ

The views and opinions expressed in this communication are those of the author and may not necessarily state or reflect those of ANZ.

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