Mobile payments surge past cash withdrawals

Woman using phone to pay in shop. | Newsreel
The value of payments made using mobile phones has surged. | Photo: Hispanolistic (iStock)

The value of purchases made with mobile phones in Australia has passed the amount of cash withdrawn from ATMs.

A new report from the Australian Banking Association (ABA) says payments by mobile wallets increased by 35 percent last year.

ABA CEO Anna Bligh said the 2024 Bank On It Report showed that in 2023 customers made $126 billion in payments with their mobile wallets.

Ms Bligh said this overtook total ATM cash withdrawals, of $105 billion, for the first time.

She said there had been an 18-fold increase in the value of mobile wallet transactions since 2019, with the value of transactions made by cash dropping 7.5 percent.

“Australians are going digital in all aspects of their lives and banking is no exception.”

Ms Bligh said customers were shifting to digital banking channels at unprecedented rates with 99.1 percent of interactions now being made online or via apps.

The report showed customer interactions with banks rose by 37 percent in the past four years, while banking branch interactions fell by 47 percent.

“Australians are interacting with their bank more than ever before thanks to the ease and convenience of digital banking. They are banking whenever and wherever it suits them,” Ms Bligh said.

She said with the surge in payments through mobile wallets, it was critical the transactions were subject to the same oversight and consumer protection laws as the rest of the payments system.

“That’s why the ABA supports upcoming legislation to ensure Australia’s payments regulatory framework remains fit-for-purpose and covers new entrants into the market.”

Read the full report.