RDP 2017-04: How Australians Pay: Evidence from the 2016 Consumer Payments Survey 2. Overview of the Survey

The Reserve Bank's CPS is a national cross-sectional survey, which provides a comprehensive picture of Australian consumers' payment behaviour. The 2016 CPS consisted of three parts: a prediary questionnaire about the demographic characteristics of respondents; a seven-day payments diary; and a post-survey questionnaire about respondents' automatic payment arrangements and their preferences and attitudes about different payment methods.

In the diary, respondents recorded details about every transaction they made for a week (apart from automatic payments, which were recorded in the post-survey questionnaire; see Section 7.2). For every transaction, respondents recorded the value, payment method, channel (e.g. online or in-person) and type of merchant. They were asked to include only personal payments, and not those made for business reasons. Respondents also recorded details about their cash holdings and receipt of additional cash top-ups during the week (e.g. amount, source) and the amount of cash they held after the top-up. A total of 1,510 people participated in the 2016 CPS, recording around 17,000 day-to-day payments and about 350 transfers to family and friends in the week of the survey. Overall, including all payments, transfers, cash top-ups and automatic payments, around 19,500 transactions were recorded in the survey. For further details on the survey, see Appendix A.