A woman using her smartwatch to pay. Picture: Supplied.
A woman using her smartwatch to pay. Picture: Supplied.

ANZ smartphone payments soar

SHOPPERS are tapping their smartphones and flicking their wrists in droves as Australians embrace the most modern ways to pay.

Department stores, delivery services, liquor outlets and hardware stores are among the most popular shopping categories where mobile payments - using a smartphone or smartwatch - are being used.

One of the nation's largest banks, ANZ, which was the first of the big four to roll out Apple Pay back in 2016, has seen almost 1.1 million customers use these mobile payment alternatives outside of paying by card.

Its figures show mobile payments have increased by more than 100 per cent in the lead up to Christmas compared to last year.

The bank data analysed customer transactions across the last three months of 2017 and October and November this year and found mobile payments were becoming far more widespread.

In October alone, customers used their mobile devices 120 per cent more than in October last year.

In November, transactions volumes climbed by 83 per cent year on year.

Some banking customers can use wearable devices at the checkout to pay.
Some banking customers can use wearable devices at the checkout to pay.


ANZ customer engagement lead Kath Bray said more customers were revelling in the ability to "avoid rummaging around in a bag" for their wallet or purse.

"Australia has been an early adopter of non-cash payments in the first place," she said.

"We expect this growth to continue into 2019 and beyond."

The big four banks all offer rival payment scheme Samsung Pay which has also had a huge uptake.

Ms Bray said consumers were using mobile payments for smaller purchases such as coffees but also more expensive items such as electrical goods and music devices.

Customers who use their smartphone or wearable device at the checkout still have to have a layer of authentication for the transaction to be approved.

This could include biometrics such as a fingerprint scan or face ID or entering a PIN number.

The Commonwealth Bank revealed last week it was also rolling out Apple Pay.

But customers will have to wait until January before they can use the new payment capability.

Financial comparison website comparethemarket.com.au's general manager of banking, Rod Attrill, said the way we pay for goods "is going to dramatically change in the next three or five years".

"Tap and go is changing the way we do things and changing people's behaviour," he said.

"Anytime any of the major banks or second-tier banks adopt a payment platform it's validating that way to do things.

"They will not take these out to their large customer base until they are very comfortable with it especially coming off what's happened in the Royal Commission."

Bankwest also offers a Halo ring which allows customers to pay using a special payment ring at the checkout.