The 2019 Consumer Payments Survey

In late 2019, the Bank undertook its fifth triennial survey of consumer payments. As in previous surveys, participants recorded details about every transaction they made for a week – including value, payment method, channel (e.g. online or in person) and type of merchant – and provided additional information on their payment preferences and attitudes in a post-survey questionnaire. Around 1,100 people participated in the 2019 survey, recording around 13,500 day-to-day payments.

The survey showed that Australian consumers are continuing to switch to electronic payment methods in preference to paper-based methods – cash and cheques – for their transactions. Debit cards were the single most frequently used payment method in the 2019 survey, overtaking cash. Cards are increasingly being used for lower-value transactions, reflecting the adoption of contactless ‘tap and go’ functionality at the point of sale. Although the share of payments made in cash continued to fall, cash was still used for over one-quarter of consumer payments.

Graph showing the percentual change of payments from 2016 to 2019.