RDP 2014-05: The Changing Way We Pay: Trends in Consumer Payments Appendix A: Further Details of the Survey

The 2013 survey was conducted by Colmar Brunton on behalf of the Bank in November 2013, well before the peak Christmas shopping period and when seasonal factors are thought to be of low influence. To engage participants to the week-long study, a $100 incentive payment was paid for full completion.

For the first time, the survey was delivered over the internet via computer, tablet and smartphone to 1,500 subscribers. While internet penetration in Australia was above 80 per cent of households in 2011 (ABS 2011b), to reduce the potential for survey bias approximately 150 additional participants without access to the internet were recruited by telephone to complete a paper-based survey. The final sample of 1,167 respondents consisted of 1,069 online respondents and 98 who completed the paper-based survey. Those who completed the survey online were also provided with a paper diary to use as a memory device to improve recall of smaller value payments relative to periodic online entry.[30]

The demographic information collected in the pre-diary questionnaire was the same as that collected in 2007 and 2010 and included gender, age, personal and household income, family status and household size, and location of residence (both postcode and whether the respondent lived in a capital city or rest-of-state area). Information about the financial services used by the participant was collected, including a list of the credit cards and debit cards held by the participant and which of these were the primary credit and debit cards. Each respondent also answered questions about whether he or she typically paid off their credit card balance every month (a ‘transactor’) or let the balance roll over from month to month (a ‘revolver’).

The diary was slightly different from that used in 2007 and 2010, although every effort was made to ensure comparability of the data across surveys. To capture the use of contactless card technology, respondents reported whether they inserted the card into the reader or tapped/waved the card on/over the reader. The range of possible channels was expanded to include smartphones, which are treated as internet payments when a cross-survey comparison is conducted. Respondents also reported the value of card surcharges where one was paid, and could report either the dollar value or the percentage value. Fields used in 2013 are laid out in Table A1.

The scope of the payments section of the diary was also expanded to include transfers, that is the movement of funds without a corresponding purchase, for the payment of money to a friend or family member or the movement of funds between the individual's own financial accounts at different financial institutions (such as to repay debt).[31]

The scope of other ‘top-ups’ was also clarified to include any cash received by the person, including such items as wages paid in cash.

In 2013, qualitative questions in the end-of-survey questionnaire focused on the use of and substitution between cash, contactless card and mobile payments. Repeat questions regarding attitudes to the use of different payment methods and the use of cheques were included. A series of questions on respondents' willingness to pay for surcharges were also included. The first question asked respondents if they would be willing to pay a 1 per cent surcharge to use their main credit card instead of cash when conducting a $50 payment. The value of the surcharge was then increased or decreased in two follow-up questions to narrow down the range for which the respondent would be willing to pay the surcharge. An identical set of questions was asked to determine what respondents would be willing to pay to use their main debit card instead of cash.

The recruitment targets for age, household income, gender and location of residence were sourced from the Australian Bureau of Statistics 2011 Census. The target for credit card holding was sourced from the Household, Income and Labour Dynamics in Australia Survey for 2012. A technique called rim weighting (or iterative proportional fitting) was used to calculate the respondent-level weighting factors using population benchmarks for age groups of each gender, household income, credit card ownership and whether the individual lives in a capital city or a regional area.

Table A1: Fields in the 2013 Payments Diary
Day of week
Payment amount (nearest dollar)
Card surcharge paid (dollar/per cent)
Payment method:

  1. – Cash
  2. – Debit card
  3. – MasterCard/Visa credit card
  4. – American Express/Diners Club
  5. – Personal cheque
  6. – BPAY
  7. – Internet/telephone banking transfer
  8. – PayPal
  9. – Other

Card action:
  1. – Tap/wave card over card reader
  2. – Insert card and press ‘CR’ button
  3. – Insert card and press ‘CHQ’/‘SAV’ button

Payment channel:
  1. – In person
  2. – Internet (PC/tablet)
  3. – Smartphone/SMS
  4. – Telephone
  5. – Mail
Payment purpose:
  1. – Supermarket/bottle shop
  2. – Small food store
  3. – Electrical/furniture
  4. – Other retailer
  5. – Take-away food/fast-food
  6. – Café/restaurant
  7. – Pub/bar
  8. – Petrol/service station
  9. – Transport
  10. – Leisure/sports/entertainment
  11. – Holiday travel
  12. – Household bills
  13. – Medical/health
  14. – Services
  15. – Transfers to family member or friend
  16. – Transfer within own accounts
  17. – Other
Cash top-ups
Day of week
Cash top-up amount (nearest dollar)
ATM operator fee paid (yes/no)
Source of cash:
1 – ATM
2 – eftpos cash-out
3 – Over the counter at a bank branch
4 – Other source
Total value of banknotes in wallet after top-up (nearest dollar)


Jonker and Kosse (2009) find that use of a payment diary improves recall of small-value cash payments relative to solely filling in a retrospective online survey. [30]

Certain figures in tables may differ to those published in the 2007 and 2010 reports due to reweighting of the 2007 dataset and different methodologies adopted across publications. In particular, this study includes all payment methods captured in each survey, in line with the expanded coverage of the 2010 and 2013 surveys, rather than limiting coverage to methods captured in the 2007 survey. [31]