Aussies have e-spent AU$9.3b already this year: eWay

An online retail report by eWay -- an Australian-based payments gateway -- has found that Australians have spent AU$9.3 billion online in the first six months of 2015, a 21.5 percent increase from 2014.

Australian shoppers are spending more online, with AU$9.3 billion spent so far this year, according to a report by eWay.

The H1 2015 Online Retail Report by the Australian-based eWay has found that spending is up 21.5 percent, with Australians spending approximately AU$1.7 billion more than they did in the same half last year.

According to eWay, the spending provides a strong indication that 2015 is heading towards being a record year for Australian online commerce.

"Even though more and more Australian businesses are now selling and accepting payments online, the sector still has significant growth potential," eWay founder and CEO Matt Bullock said.

According to the report, the transaction volume of office equipment and supplies -- which includes computers and software -- jumped 57.8 percent compared to last year.

The CEO of the online payment gateway said Australia's online activity spiked right before end of financial year, attributing the jump to announcements made in the Australian Budget.

"The new federal Budget allows small businesses to claim instant tax deductions of up to AU$20,000, and has also removed fringe benefits taxes on electronic company equipment," Bullock said.

According to the report, the most popular day for online shopping is Thursday; the same day that bricks-and-mortar retailers around the country generally have extended trading hours as well.

"Commuter commerce" has also increased, with many shoppers making purchases on their way to and from work, the report indicates.

The report also found that online purchases delivered to international postcodes increased by 35.5 percent, in line with the drop of the Australian dollar.

"There is a clear window of opportunity for small businesses to open up their offering to global markets, if they haven't already. The increasingly sophisticated and cheap postage services make this more feasible than ever," the CEO said.

Last year, the Australian Payments Clearing Association (APCA) blamed the increase in online shopping for the rise in the total rate of fraud on Australian cards and cheques.

According to the report published in December, the data for the 12 months to June 2014 showed that the total rate of fraud on Australian cards and cheques increased from 16.1 cents to 18.7 cents per AU$1,000 spent, meaning that fraud impacts 0.000187 percent of all dollars spent.

At the same time, the APCA figures showed that card-not-present fraud on Australian cards increased from AU$199.2 million to AU$256.1 million, with 66 percent of this kind of fraud occurring overseas as a result of individuals' banking information being obtained from Australia.