The use of digital wallets is soaring in Australia.
The use of digital wallets is soaring in Australia.

Shoppers are no longer carrying their wallets

THE number of customers making payments using a smartphone or smartwatch is surging as the desire to pay with cash or card declines.

Consumers are switching across to using different payment methods including Apple Pay, Samsung Pay and Android Pay to tap and go at the checkout.

New data from the Commonwealth Bank has found the number of customers reaching for their smartphones to pay is rising, reaching 16.8 million for the six months to June this year.

This is an increase of 35 per cent.

And the bank has now extended these payment options to allow its Visa users to also use their devices to pay.

Previously only CBA Mastercard customers could use the tap and pay functionality.

CBA's acting executive general manager of everyday banking Michael Baumann said for many consumers it's "more convenient to use a phone than a card."

"The tap and pay functionality is used particularly at major supermarkets and is one in every five tap and pay transactions that we are conducting," he said.

"Another 10 per cent take place at major fast food chains and another 10 per cent at petrol stations."

A customer using her Garmin device to tap and go at the checkout. Picture: Supplied.
A customer using her Garmin device to tap and go at the checkout. Picture: Supplied.

But customers continue to voice their frustrations at lenders who have not rolled out Apple Pay - ANZ is the only Big Four bank who offers it.

Instead CBA provides Apple users with a PayTag - a small sticker around the third of the size of a credit card - which can be attached to the back of an iPhone allowing customers to tap and pay using their device.

All the Big Four banks offer Samsung Pay.

Latest ANZ stats shows a similar trend of mobile payments surging include the use of compatible smartwatches such as Garmin and Fitbit allowing customers to tap and go.

Their data shows in October 2016 to August 2017 customers made more than 22.49 million transactions using these payment functionalities totalling $702 million.

But this more than doubled from October 2017 to August 2018 to include more than 57 million transactions worth $1.83 billion.

ANZ's customer engagement lead Kath Bray said customers want to be able to make transactions easily and safely.

"Mobile payments also offer an increased level of security with biometrics, like a thumbprint, required to authorise a payment in many cases," she said.

Latest data from strategic relations firm RFi show 11 per cent of smartphone users in June this year used a mobile wallet compared to 9 per cent in 2016.

sophie.elsworth@news.com.au

@sophieelsworth