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Australia becoming cashless society says MasterCard

29 Jun 2012

A new global study from MasterCard Worldwide shows Australia is on track for a cashless future - although obstacles still exist before mobile payments become the norm.

The study, which uses the MasterCard Mobile Payments Readiness Index (MPRI), reveals Australia’s current mobile payment readiness to be in the middle of the pack globally, with 17 percent of Australians surveyed being prepared to use a mobile device to purchase goods in-store. The MPRI measures a country’s readiness for three types of mobile payment, including person to person (P2P), mobile e-commerce (m-commerce), and mobile payments at the point of sale.

The index suggests that those in Australia most willing to adopt mobile payments are young, affluent men aged 18-34 years who recognise the value in using platforms like PayPassTM and the soon to be launched PayPass Wallet Services.

The global index scores Australia 35.3 in mobile payment readiness, which is just above the world’s average score of 33.2. Singapore, which is viewed as the most advanced country in terms of mobile payment readiness, scored 45.6 - the closest nation to the optimum readiness target of 60 points.

In contrast to these findings, a recent MasterCard Australia online shopper survey, which revealed 71 percent of Australians have access to the Internet from their mobile phones, indicated only five percent claim to have made a recent purchase using a mobile device.

MasterCard Australasia’s Head of Market Development and Innovation Matt Barr states it is these types of results that substantiate there is a long way to go to improve upon the current customer experience. Yet “while there is work to be done, it’s Australia’s willingness to embrace new technology that saw it chosen as one of the first markets globally to launch PayPass Wallet Services.”

“Australia is a sophisticated market, which demands only the best payment services. When PayPass Wallet Services hit our shores later this year consumers will enjoy a new level of convenience, with mobile payments made possible at the push of a button. Whether it’s online, in-store, or on a smartphone, PayPass Wallet Services will change the way Australians pay.”

For Australia to progress toward a mobile payments future, MasterCard believes momentum needs to come from all areas, including government, telcos, banks, technology providers and retailers. JB Hi-Fi is one of the first retailers to get onboard with PayPass Wallet Services.

“As Australia’s largest leading technology and entertainment retailer we’re obsessed about a great customer experience and the payments piece is an important part of this experience,” said Richard Murray, CFO, JB Hi-Fi.

“The future of retailing is about a harmonious experience both in-store and online, and with PayPass Wallet Services we feel we’ll be able to provide innovative payment solutions to our customers to deliver on this.”

Matt Barr discloses that while retailers support the uptake of new technology, what’s key is for other major stakeholders to put their full support behind mobile payments and come together to collaborate as well.

“In order to realise the full potential of mobile payments it is vital for key stakeholders to play their part. NFC enabled handsets are a critical piece in this puzzle. Telcos need to determine their strategy and provide the crucial infrastructure required for mobile payments to flourish.”