Transactions statistics in Australia
We may be heading (gradually) towards a cashless society, but Australians are making more transactions than ever before.
According to the Reserve Bank, in January 2017 alone, Australians made the following types of transactions:
|Credit Cards||220 million transactions, $25.4 billion in total value|
|Debit Cards||425 million transactions, $22.4 billion in total value|
|Cheques||6.9 million cheques drawn, $79 billion in total value|
|Cash ATM withdrawals||48.7 million ATM cash withdrawals, $10.4 billion in total value|
|Source: RBA, 13 March 2017.|
You may not even need your debit card soon, as many banking apps and digital wallets now allow you to make contactless payment with your mobile phone. Apps available so far in Australia include Google Wallet, Samsung Pay, and Apple Pay – all encrypted with the same type of fraud detection and payment protection used on debit and credit cards.From online shopping with PayPal to direct debit to contactless payments to digital wallets, the way we make transactions is changing – so what we need from our transaction account is changing, too.
How to choose a transaction account
A few important factors to think about when you’re comparing transaction accounts include:
- Account and transaction fees
- Interest rates on offer
- Free transactions or fee rebates
- Easy access to your money
- Other useful features
We discuss each of these in more detail below.
To find a great value account, join more than 12,000 Australians who are comparing transaction accounts on the CANSTAR website every year (March 2016 – March 2017):
1. What are the fees?
Interest rates are negligible on most transaction accounts, which means that fees can pack a punch if you haven’t chosen your account to suit your spending habits.
Unfortunately, we probably don’t review our bank accounts as often as we change our spending habits. Some possible types of fees that consumers can incur on various transaction accounts include:
|Fee Type||Maximum Cost|
|Account-keeping fees||$35 per month|
|ATM fee for using your own bank’s ATM||$2 per transaction|
|EFTPOS fee||$2 per transaction|
|Electronic transaction fee||$2 per transaction|
|Branch fee for a cash withdrawal using branch facilities||$5|
|Foreign transaction fees (currency conversion fees)||$5.50|
Based on products listed on CANSTAR Transaction Accounts Database, March 2017.
2. Are there any interest rates on offer?
It’s not just savings accounts where you can earn a small increase on your money. Interest-earning transaction accounts do exist, although the rates are typically not very high:
|Base Rates on Transaction Accounts|
Rates are current as at 1 March 2017. Rates are based on a balance of $1,000.
Only accounts assessed in the Savings and Transaction Accounts Star Ratings have been considered.
3. Are there any free transactions or fee rebates?
It is useful to know how many “free” transactions apply, or if fee rebates are provided by transaction accounts that you may be considering.
With a number of fee-free account options available, recent CANSTAR analysis found that choosing the wrong transaction account could be an unnecessary drain on your wallet. Here are some ways to avoid ATM fees.
4. How easily accessible is the money for your spending habits?
Transaction accounts with different institutions vary in how convenient it is to manage your account and access facilities such as EFTPOS, direct debit, debit card, BPAY, branches, ATMs, or even cheques.
Before choosing a transaction account, determine the various ways you need to be able to make payments and manage your account. Make sure the account you choose has the types of access you need.
5. Are there any other useful features?
Mobile banking apps and digital wallets are making the humble debit card almost obsolete, since you can now make contactless payments with your mobile phone – but it all depends which bank you’re with.
Digital wallet options available so far in Australia include Android Pay, Apple Pay, Samsung Pay, and Google Wallet – all encrypted with the same type of fraud detection and payment protection used on debit and credit cards.
We have researched which institutions offer which digital wallet services as follows:
|Android Pay||Apple Pay||Samsung Pay|
|American Express||American Express||American Express|
|ANZ (for American Express credit cards, MasterCard credit cards, Visa credit and debit cards)||ANZ (for American Express credit cards, MasterCard credit cards, Visa credit and debit cards)||Citi|
|Bank Australia||Australian Unity||Source: Samsung, March 2017|
|Bank of Sydney||Bank Australia|
|Bankwest||Bank of Sydney|
|Bendigo Bank||Beyond Bank Australia|
|Beyond Bank||Big Sky Building Society Ltd.|
|Big Sky Building Society||CAPE Credit Union Ltd.|
|CAPE Credit Union||Catalyst Money|
|Catalyst Money||Central Murray Credit Union Ltd.|
|Central West Credit Union||Central West Credit Union Ltd.|
|Community First Credit Union||Community Alliance Credit Union Ltd.|
|Credit Union Australia||Community First Credit Union Ltd.|
|Credit Union SA||Credit Union SA Ltd.|
|Family First Credit Union||Defence Bank|
|First Option Credit Union||First Option Credit Union|
|Goldfields Money||Goldfields Money Ltd.|
|Goulburn Murray Credit Union Co-Op||Goulburn Murray Credit Union|
|Holiday Coast Credit Union||Holiday Coast Credit Union Ltd.|
|Horizon Credit Union||Horizon Credit Union|
|Illawarra Credit Union||ING Direct|
|ING Direct||Intech Credit Union Ltd.|
|Intech Credit Union||Laboratories Credit Union Ltd.|
|Laboratories Credit Union||Lombard Finance|
|Maritime, Mining & Power Credit Union||MyState Bank Ltd.|
|MyState Bank||Nexus Mutual|
|Northern Beaches Credit Union||Northern Beaches Credit Union|
|Northern Inland Credit Union||Northern Inland Credit Union|
|P&N Bank||Once Credit|
|People’s Choice Credit Union||P&N Bank|
|Police Bank||People’s Choice Credit Union|
|QT Mutual Bank||Police Bank|
|Queenslanders Credit Union||QT Mutual Bank|
|Select ENCOMPASS Credit Union||Select Encompass Credit Union Ltd.|
|South West Slopes Credit Union||South West Slopes Credit Union|
|Sydney Credit Union||Sydney Credit Union Ltd.|
|Teacher’s Mutual Bank||Teachers Mutual Bank|
|The Mac Credit Union||The Mac|
|The Rock Credit Union||The Rock|
|WAW Credit Union Co-Operative||UniBank|
|Westpac||Unity Bank Ltd.|
|Woolworths Employees’ Credit Union||Warwick Credit Union Ltd.|
|Wyong Shire Credit Union||WAW Credit Union|
|Source: Android, March 2017||Woolworths Employees’ Credit Union|
|Wyong Shire Credit Union|
|Source: Apple, March 2017|
To the extent that any CANSTAR data, ratings or commentary constitutes general advice, this advice has been prepared by CANSTAR Research Pty Ltd ABN 29 114 422 909 AFSL and ACL 437917(“CANSTAR”) and does not take into account your individual investment objectives, financial circumstances or needs. Information provided on and available in this document does not constitute financial, taxation or other professional advice and should not be relied upon as such. CANSTAR recommends that, before you make any financial decision, you seek professional advice from a suitably qualified adviser. See CANSTAR’s Financial Services Guide and Credit Guide at http://www.canstar.com.au/canstar-research-fsg/