Digital Payments Taking Over From Cheques

The Milestones Report, released today by the Australian Payments Clearing Association (APCA), shows a significant drop in cheque use over the last 12 months.

The report shows some incredible statistics about the paperless society we are becoming, with the use of cheques dropping by 17.2% to 126.4 million in 2016. This compares to a 15.7% drop in 2015, and 13.5% in 2014. It has also shown that since 2006, cheque use has dropped by an incredible 73%! They only account now for about one per cent (1.2%) of all non-cash retail transactions.

In contrast to these numbers, the use of digital payments is growing strongly, with direct entry transactions (debit and debit credit) growing by 7.2% to 3.3 billion, and card payments (credit and debit cards) growing by an incredible 12.1% to 7 billion.

APCA Chief Executive Officer, Leila Fourie said, “Australia is making great strides in moving away from paper payments – both in cheques and cash. This is important from an efficiency view point; for both customer convenience and digital inclusion.”

It appears as well that in citing recent research, the Milestone Report notes that online payments are becoming increasingly attractive to older Australians, with more than half of interest users over the age of 65 made banking transactions online (53%) and just under a half (48%) paying their bills online.

The report also highlights that Australia is reported second in the world for smartphone use, with 77% of Australians owning a smartphone.

““Australia is leading the way in digital payments with continued strong growth in card payments, impressive smartphone penetration and improved digital literacy. The industry’s New Payments Platform will provide a stimulus for yet more innovation,” said Dr Fourie.

The Report notes that the New Payments Platform, an Industry and Government initiative will work on new national infrastructure for fast, flexible, data rich payments, will further support the transition to these digital payments.


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