Social media is increasingly influencing the shopping habits of Australians, particularly those of millennials and members of Generation Z. Digital natives are not only much more likely than digital immigrants to use their smartphones to pay for products and services, but also to compare prices and conduct research before making purchasing decisions.
Cashless payments have become much more popular in Australia in recent years. According to the Reserve Bank of Australia, Australians are now the sixth highest users of electronic payments in the world.
A growing number of Australian retailers are accepting popular Chinese mobile payment apps such as Alipay and WeChat Pay to appeal to Chinese tourists and students. Local banks are following suit, integrating these apps into their payment systems to cater to merchant customers.
Leading supermarkets chain Woolworths began trialling a “shop and go” system at one of its Sydney stores in late 2018. The system, which has been offered to members of the chain’s loyalty programme, allows users to scan product barcodes with their smartphones as they shop, and then pay via a card-linked app by swiping the devices at “tap-out points” before leaving the store.
M-commerce is becoming a key battleground for Australian retailers as consumers continue to migrate to online shopping. Competitive pressures in this area have greatly intensified in recent years due to developments such as the entry of Amazon and growth in the popularity of mobile wallet services like Apple Pay or Android Pay.
In addition to fraud, data protection is a matter of growing concern for mobile shoppers in Australia. Recent years have seen a number of widely publicised data hacks of major companies, both at home and abroad.
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