Thursday, April 11th, 2013

Total usage of Debit cards is growing much faster than credit cards and looks set to overtake them. These figures are based on the latest findings from the Roy Morgan Consumer Finance Single Source Survey. 

In the latest 12 months to February 2013, Australians 18+ report some 109 million debit card transactions in an average month, compared to 117 million transactions for credit cards. For debit cards, this is an almost threefold increase from February 2009 when it is estimated there were approximately 28 million transactions per month. While the monthly number of transactions on credit cards has also increased in the same period, the increase was just under 10%.

The significant increase in debit card usage is largely driven by the 18-34 age group which accounted for more than a four fold increase (10.3 million transactions in February 2009 to 54.6 million transactions in February 2013).

Despite there being more credit cards (10.2 million) than debit cards (7.4 million) on issue, the average monthly usage per debit card of 14.6 in February 2013 has already overtaken the average frequency of using credit cards (11.4 times, February 2013). The data also indicate that the number of debit cards on issue has tripled over the last four years, while credit cards have remained largely stable overall, but with a 20% decline in the number held by the 18-34 age group.

From commanding a share of over three quarters of total credit / debit card usage, credit cards are now down to just over half, with debit having doubled share from one fifth to just under half.

Norman Morris, Industry Communications Director, Roy Morgan Research says:

“The Australian payments landscape has seen the introduction of alternatives to cash payments over time including credit cards, debit cards, pre-paid cards etc. Against the back drop of the Global Financial Crisis, uncertainties such as job security and interest rates have caused concern within the Australian economy. With this in mind, consumers are focusing more on savings than on spending and it is becoming increasingly clear that with the higher use of debit cards over credit cards, consumers are having more control of their own funds.”


Source: Roy Morgan Single Source (Australia), 12 month rolling average, average sample size = 31,700.

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Roy Morgan Research

Roy Morgan Research is Australia’s best known and longest established market research and public opinion survey company. Roy Morgan Single Source is thorough, accurate, and provides comprehensive, directly applicable information about current and future customers. It is unique in that it directs all the questions to each individual from a base survey sample of around 55,000 interviews in Australia and 15,000 interviews in New Zealand annually - the largest Single Source databases in the world. The questions asked relate to lifestyle and attitudes, media consumption habits (including TV, radio, newspapers, magazines, cinema, catalogues, pay TV and the Internet), brand and product usage, purchase intentions, retail visitations, service provider preferences, financial information and recreation and leisure activities. This lead product is supported by a nationally networked, consultancy-orientated market research capability.
Shaun Ellis
P: 03 9224 5332


Debit Cards, Credit Cards, Debit card usage



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