Questions & Answers Retail Payments Statistical Tables

What is changing with the Statistical Tables?

On 21 March, the Bank will be publishing updated payments system statistical tables (currently Tables C1 through C9). The updated tables will feature a significant increase in the published payments data from around 60 to around 300 series. There will also be some changes to the naming and structure of these statistical tables, as well as to how the data are organised across the tables. The number of tables will increase from 9 to 16.

When will the new Statistical Tables be available?

21 March.

What new data will be available?

New data will be published on card payments (such as separate data on prepaid cards and new breakdowns within credit and debit cards), along with other data on the New Payments Platform (NPP), ATM use and other payment methods including cheques. The Bank will also publish seasonally adjusted payments data in the statistical tables along with original data.

Why are you publishing seasonally adjusted data?

Payments data can be highly seasonal – that is, it can exhibit regular and periodic patterns influenced by factors like holidays, annual events and the number of trading days in a month. As seasonality can cause significant changes to monthly and quarterly payments activity, it is important that policymakers and other analysts can distinguish between seasonal effects and other drivers of payment activity (such as behavioural changes and policy interventions). Seasonal adjustment is a statistical method that helps to identify seasonality, providing more meaningful insights into high frequency movements and shorter term trends. Accordingly, when available, the Bank typically prefers to use seasonally adjusted data in analysing payments developments.

Are you discontinuing any data series?

All existing series published in the statistical tables C1 – C6 have been preserved in the new tables and will continue to be published. Statistical tables C7 ‘Real-time Gross Settlement Statistics’ and C9 ‘Domestic Banking Fee Income’ will also be retained. The Bank will discontinue statistical table C8 ‘Points of Access to the Australian Payments System’, as these series are replicated from data already published by APRA and Australian Payments Network (AusPayNet).

Why are you making these changes?

The Bank has published statistics relating to Australian payment systems since 2002 as part of its Retail Payments Statistics (RPS) collection. See more information on the introduction of the RPS collection. The Bank recently completed a major project to update the collection, which had remained largely unchanged in terms of the type of data collected since 2002. The primary motivation for this recent update was to ensure that the data collection remained a relevant and valuable source of information for policy makers, the private sector and the wider community. The publication of these data are consistent with the Bank's objective of sharing more data where possible.

Will there be any series breaks in the published data?

Most published series have not been affected by series breaks. The recent changes to the retail payments statistics collection have resulted in statistical breaks for a small number of series in the published data in May 2018, when changes to the data collection commenced. The series breaks can be associated with a number of factors including changes in the sample size and survey methodology, and an improvement in the understanding of reporting requirements by some institutions. There are some notable breaks with respect to direct entry payments, and the separation of prepaid scheme cards from the debit card statistics; these breaks were already reflected in the published data in May 2018. Further information about these breaks can be found in the ‘Series breaks’ tabs of the statistical tables.

Where will I be able to find the new Statistical Tables?

The new statistical tables can be found at Payments System Statistical Tables and at Payments Data.

When will the new Statistical Tables be updated?

The new versions of the statistical tables will be released on 21 March, with data for January being available in the tables. Going forward, the payments statistical tables will continue to be updated on the 12th (or next business day) of each month. The next release is scheduled for 12 April, when data for February will be published.

What will happen with the old Statistical Tables?

On 21 March, both the old and new versions of the statistical tables will be available at: Payments Data. On 12 April, the old versions of the statistical tables will be moved to the ‘Discontinued Data’ page.

Is there more information about these changes?

On 21 March, the Bank will release a Bulletin article discussing some of the new series being published, including additional insights on how consumers and businesses make payments.