Australia’s contactless payments far surpass mobile: Report

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Australian regulations recently denied banks the right to negotiate with Apple Inc. to directly add Apple Pay to their digital apps, but the victory may do little for Apple, considering consumers in the country appear to have little interest in using mobile wallets.

Mobile wallet payments account for less than 1% of all consumer transactions, while about one third of all point of sale transactions are contactless, according to new survey data from the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA).

Unlike in the U.S., where only a handful of banks support contactless payment cards, most Australian banks support dual-interface credit and debit cards with Near Field Communication technology enabling consumers to tap to pay with plastic, the central bank reported.

Cards are the most commonly used payment method for all but the lowest-value transactions (those under $10), the RBA said, based on the results of a survey conducted in November 2016 among 1,500 consumers who documented all transactions conducted through all channels over the course of a week. Research firm Ipsos conducted the RBA’s fourth annual survey.

More than half, or 52% of all consumer payments were conducted using a payment card during the survey period, up from 26% nearly a decade earlier in 2007, the RBA said.

Cash use has fallen sharply in the past decade, with consumers reporting they now conduct 37% of all transactions with cash, versus 69% in 2007.

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