47% of Australians Prefer Paying Via Digital Wallet – Survey

Survey of 1000 Australians learns attitudes towards digital-wallets
Published on March 9th, 2021
  Written by 
Adrian Edlington
Adrian Edlington is PR & Communications Manager at Savvy. With a keen interest in personal finance, car loans, the mortgage industry, cost of living pressures, electric vehicles and renewable technology, Adrian's research includes conducting primary data surveys and analysis of up-to-the-minute secondary Australian data sources. His work on behalf of Savvy has been featured on ABC.net.au The Conversation, the Sydney Morning Herald, AFR, News.com.au, The Age, Herald Sun, Adelaide Now, SBS On The Money, 7News, Car Expert, Which Car, Drive.com.au and more. In his spare time, Adrian enjoys mountain biking and business podcasts.
Our authors
   Reviewed by 
Bill Tsouvalas


Bill Tsouvalas
Bill Tsouvalas is the managing director and a key company spokesperson at Savvy. As a personal finance expert, he often shares his insights on a range of topics, being featured on leading news outlets including News Corp publications such as the Daily Telegraph and Herald Sun, Fairfax Media publications such as the Australian Financial Review, the Seven Network and more. Bill has over 15 years of experience working in the finance industry and founded Savvy in 2010 with a vision to provide affordable and accessible finance options to all Australians. He has built Savvy from a small asset finance brokerage into a financial comparison website which now attracts close to 2 million Aussies per year and was included in the BRW’s Fast 100 in 2015 as one of the fastest-growing companies in the country. He’s passionate about helping Australians make financially savvy decisions and reviews content across the brand to ensure its accuracy. You can follow Bill on LinkedIn.
Our authors
   Commentary by 
Cameron Dart

Guest Contributor

Cameron Dart
As founder of Australian FinTech, Cameron has international experience in various fields of technology, investment and development covering areas such as fintech, banking, finance, property development, property finance, mining investment and technology startups.
Our authors

Fact checked

At Savvy, we are committed to providing accurate information. Our content undergoes a rigorous process of fact-checking before it is published. Learn more about our editorial policy.
Digital wallets - Mobile Payments Australia

At Savvy, our mission is to empower you to make informed financial choices. While we maintain stringent editorial standards, this article may include mentions of products offered by our partners. Here’s how we generate income.

In this article

The survey conducted by Savvy polled 1,003 Australians on their daily payment habits. The results showed that almost half use a digital wallet, or credit cards and payment instruments stored on a smart device such as a smartphone.

  • Of those that use a digital wallet almost two-thirds use it as their preferred payment method
  • Only 18.1% of respondents use cash on a regular basis
  • Most have had their digital wallet for at least one year
  • 2% (of 1003) respondents said they started using a digital wallet since the beginning of 2020
  • 3% said they started using a digital wallet within the past six months

How often do you use a digital wallet?

Of those who use a digital wallet, 43.3% said they use the wallet “most of the time” and 15.9% said they always used the wallet. 30.9% said they used their digital wallets some of the time.

Cash is coming a distant third to electronic alternatives with only 18.1% saying they used cash as their primary payment method. 35.8% used EFTPOS and 46.2% used Paywave or Tap and Go.

Digital wallets are a relatively new phenomenon in the banking marketplace. 51% have used digital wallets for at least six months and as long as two years. A quarter (25.3%) have used digital wallets for more than two years.

20.2% of 1003 respondents said they started using a digital wallet since the beginning of 2020, while 7.3% of this total began using a digital wallet within the past six months only.

Cameron Dart, CEO and Director of AustralianFinTech.com.au;

“Paying via digital wallet has become the norm. It seems like in just a matter of two years, everyone in Australia went from paying by cash to paying by card to paying via a digital or mobile wallet - the rapid change is phenomenal in just a short period. Even now I'm paying by phone pretty much 100% of the time, plus it's extremely handy when you don't want to carry a physical wallet or handbag. Or if you forget either of them, because no one seems to forget their phones."

How long have you had a digital wallet for?

An overwhelming majority (87.6%) said they started using a digital wallet for the convenience. This hasn’t surprised Managing Director of Savvy and financial technology advocate Bill Tsouvalas.

“Digital wallets are simply more convenient,” he says. “Why would you worry about taking a wallet around when you have your smartphone on you anyway? Digital wallets will simplify our day to day carry and can be used for all kinds of contactless payments such as public transport or event tickets.”

Announced today, Australia will be getting a QR code payment system much like the contact tracing regimen in many states. Set up by EFTPOS, the company is currently conducting trials and a rollout is expected by 2022. 

“Digital wallets are not only great for customers but their easy integration into payment systems and retail technology also means business will benefit in the long term,” Tsouvalas says. “Consumers are now willing to do more and more on their smartphone devices, from making every day purchases to even applying for loans online.”

Savvy - 2021 Digital Wallets & Cash in Australia Survey (n = 1003) 

Nationally representative survey of 1003 adult Australians, aged 18 and over. Conducted by Octopus Group, on behalf of Savvy.

Completion date: 9/03/2021

Gender breakdown: male n=501, female n=502, non-binary /prefer not to say n=0

Age groups:18-24 (n=123), 25-34 (n=192), 35-44 (n=172), 45-54 (n=164), 55-64 (n=148), 65+ (n=204)

Representative of state and territory populations:

NSW n=317 (32.3%), Vic n=256 (25.1%), Qld n=202 (20.2%), SA n=73 (7.2%), WA n=105 (10.6%) NT n=10 (0.7%), Tas n=22 (2.2%), ACT n=18 (1.7%)

Did you find this page helpful?

Thanks for your feedback!

This guide provides general information and does not consider your individual needs, finances or objectives. We do not make any recommendation or suggestion about which product is best for you based on your specific situation and we do not compare all companies in the market, or all products offered by all companies. It’s always important to consider whether professional financial, legal or taxation advice is appropriate for you before choosing or purchasing a financial product.

The content on our website is produced by experts in the field of finance and reviewed as part of our editorial guidelines. We endeavour to keep all information across our site updated with accurate information.

In this article

Share this article

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on email
Share on pinterest

Smart money saving tips

Subscribe to our newsletter.

By subscribing you agree to our privacy policy

About Savvy

Savvy is one of Australia’s largest online financial brokers, focusing on personal and commercial financial products. Founded in 2010, the firm has seen rapid growth, a testament to their provision of market leading rates and reaching customers with the latest in media and technology. Savvy is a proud supporter of Kids Under Cover, a charity assisting homeless and at-risk youth to strengthen their bonds to community and education. Savvy was named one of BRW’s fastest growing companies in 2015.

Latest media releases

Digital wallets - Mobile Payments Australia

We'd love to chat, how can we help?

By clicking "Submit", you agree to be contacted by a Savvy Agency Owner and to receive communications from Savvy which you can unsubscribe from at any time. Read our Privacy Policy.