Research Discussion Paper – RDP 2023-08 The Evolution of Consumer Payments in Australia: Results from the 2022 Consumer Payments Survey


The Reserve Bank conducted its sixth triennial Consumer Payments Survey (CPS), which provides detailed information on how Australians make their payments. The 2022 CPS provides the first comprehensive snapshot of consumer payment behaviour following the changes brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic. The survey shows that most in-person payments are made by tapping cards or mobile devices, even for small purchases. This means the share of in-person transactions made with cash halved, from 32 per cent to 16 per cent, over the three years to 2022. The demographic groups that traditionally used cash more frequently for payments – such as the elderly, those on lower incomes and those in regional areas – saw the largest declines in cash use. Cash usage has generally been replaced with card payments. While Australians are aware of and use a range of other newer payment methods, such as digital wallets and buy now, pay later services, they still make up a small share of payments.