Strategic Review of Innovation in the Payments System: Results of the Reserve Bank of Australia's 2010 Consumer Payments Use Study – June 2011 2. Description of Data

The 2010 Consumer Payments Use Study was undertaken for the Reserve Bank by Roy Morgan Research, as was the 2007 Study. Once again, the study comprised two main components: the Roy Morgan Research Financial Transaction Diary® (the diary); and a questionnaire to be completed at the end of the diary period (the end-of-study questionnaire). For the diary component, individuals were asked to record, in a specially designed pocket-sized diary, the details of every purchase, bill payment and cash withdrawal made over a one-week period. For each payment, the participants were asked to record the day and date, the payment amount, the payment method used, the merchant category, the payment channel (in person, internet, phone or mail), and whether a surcharge was paid for a card payment. For cash withdrawals, participants recorded the withdrawal amount and method (ATM, eftpos cash-out, over-the-counter or other), as well as whether a direct charge was paid.[3]

Roy Morgan Research recruited around 1,700 participants for the 2010 Study, with all 662 participants who completed the study in 2007 being invited to participate again. In total, 1,240 valid responses were received, including 317 participants that completed both the 2007 and 2010 studies. This resulted in a sample of almost 19,500 payments for a total value of around $1.3 million. In addition, around 1,800 cash withdrawals were recorded, with a total value of around $320,000.

Generally, the diary data are directly comparable across the two study periods. Only relatively minor changes were made to the diary between 2007 and 2010, in particular:

  • the classification of payment methods was expanded to explicitly capture internet/telephone banking and specialised online payment methods (for example, PayPal);
  • small amendments were made to the merchant categories; and
  • the diary period was reduced from two weeks to one week.

The end-of-study questionnaire was significantly expanded in the 2010 Study. This questionnaire had three aims: to capture information about the use of automatic payments (direct debits) that are difficult to record in a diary, as well as newer payment methods that are not yet in widespread use; to gain some insight into consumer reactions when faced with a credit card surcharge or an ATM direct charge; and to help identify gaps in the services offered by current payment systems from a consumer perspective.

Demographic information about each respondent was obtained from Roy Morgan Research's Single Source re-contact database, and included information such as gender, age, personal income and postcode.[4] Data were also available on the cards held by each study respondent, including details of annual fees and rewards programs for their credit cards. These demographic and background data could be directly matched to the responses for the diary and the end-of-study questionnaire for each respondent.

Recruitment targets for the study participants were based on Australian population statistics for gender, age and location (metropolitan or regional). To adjust for differences between the recruitment targets and actual responses, an individual weighting factor was calculated using the same demographic variables. An adjustment for over-representation of credit card holders in the final sample was also included in the weighting factor.

Further details of the study are provided in Appendix A.


Further details of the diary fields are provided in Table A1. [3]

Demographic information for participants who completed the 2007 Study was dated. These participants were, therefore, required to complete a demographic update questionnaire. [4]