Mobile wallets to overtake physical wallets by 2021: CBA

A study by the Commonwealth Bank of Australia has revealed that consumers are increasingly using their mobile wallets to pay for basic purchases, but hope to use it for loyalty schemes, to redeem coupons, and for public transport.
Written by Aimee Chanthadavong, Contributor

The frustrations of using the physical wallet is driving the popularity of contactless card and smartphone payments, with research conducted by Lonergan Research, on behalf of the Commonwealth Bank of Australia (CBA), revealing that mobile wallets will replace physical wallets in Australia by 2021.

According to the survey, frustrations like forgetting to take their wallets out, forgetting to put specific items in the wallet, and having to carry a bulky wallet, are some reasons why 73 percent of Australians expect that mobile wallets will replace their entire wallet in the next seven and a half years, and cash and card payments within six and a half years.

"Consumers are 'going mobile', and they are clearly showing their preference for the convenience and simplicity of transacting on mobile anywhere, anytime, and on any device. We expect this trend will only continue," said Michael Harte, Commonwealth Bank group executive enterprise services and CIO.

But consumers are just expected to be able to use their mobile wallet to pay for purchases. The survey also found that consumers expect to use their mobile wallet to be able to access loyalty schemes (55 percent), redeem coupons (45 percent), store receipts (44 percent), and get around on public transport (43 percent).

However, 77 percent of consumers still believe at the same time that there will always be a need for cash.

Commonwealth Bank card, payments, analytics, and retail strategy executive general manager Angus Sullivan said that while mobile banking and payments are going to be the primary functions of the mobile wallet in the short term, consumers are also expecting that it will replace their bus tickets, and loyalty and membership cards.

"While there may always be a need for different payment methods, such as cash for emergencies and cards for travel, it's clear the mobile wallet is set to become a part of many Australians' everyday lives," he said.

"As a nation, we've been at the forefront of the contactless payments revolution, and Australians appear keen to lead the world into the new era of the mobile wallet," said Sullivan.

The main influencer for why Australians have adopted the mobile wallet is trust and confidence in the security of it. The survey showed that banks and financial institutions are by far the most trusted providers of mobile wallets (44 percent), ahead of the government (16 percent), technology companies (14 percent) such as Google and Apple, and retail stores (10 percent).

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