MONEY: How we pay is changing rapidly away from cash to tap-and-go, mobile phones and soon the NPP.
MONEY: How we pay is changing rapidly away from cash to tap-and-go, mobile phones and soon the NPP. Reserve Bank of Australia

We're catching up to digital payment choices

SENIORS are taking to the digital era by switching from cash and cheques to digital payments methods with card transactions doubling since 2007.

The 2016 Reserve Bank's triennial Consumer Payments Survey data shows that across the population debit and credit cards are now the most frequent means of payment, overtaking cash for the first time.

In 2007 cash payments accounted for 70% of transactions. In 2016 they account for just 37%.

However, while tap-and-go is increasingly the choice for lower-value transactions and direct debits are being used more frequently, cash is still used regularly in households aged 50 and older.

The amount of cash carried in the 65 and over age group was about $95 which was more than twice what was being carried by people in other age groups

Our use of cheques is declining with the RBA reporting a decline in the past decade of about 13%. In 2007 the RBA reported cheques represented just over 2% of payments by consumers aged 65 and over. In 2016 it had fallen to less than 1%.

Older Australians are also moving towards internet banking as they gain confidence in electronic payment options.

 

MONEY: Seniors are going online and more often to pay their bills. Credit Reserve Bank of Australia.
MONEY: Seniors are going online and more often to pay their bills. Credit Reserve Bank of Australia.

The survey found internet use among older Australians is rising and their largest single use of the internet is for online banking and paying bills. It reports about 40% of respondents aged 65 and over used online payments in the 2016 survey week, compared with 5% in 2007.

It appears we are rapidly adopting to online payments just as younger age groups are doing so.

Using a mobile phone app for payment is considered a relatively new option. It is however gaining momentum with a noticeable increase in online and person-to-person payments.

But don't sit back and relax as there is another change to how we pay on its way to us in October 2017.

The New Payments Platform, or NPP, is described as a world-class platform for payments which will allow for money and data to move between bank accounts instantaneously.

The official word from the RBA is the NPP will allow for simply addressed payments with near real-time funds availability to consumers 24/7, so gone will be the days of waiting until Monday for a weekend payment to be processed.

Payment messages will be able to carry more remittance information such as 18 characters currently available for direct entry payments.


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