Commonwealth Bank media release


  • Aussies expect smartphones to replace physical wallets by 2021
  • One in two say the majority of payments will be made via a mobile wallet in the future
  • Loyalty schemes, payments and transport most popular features of mobile wallets

As the popularity of contactless card and smartphone payments increases, new research from CommBank reveals mobile wallets are expected to replace physical wallets in Australia by 2021.

According to the survey, the majority (73 per cent) of Australians expect mobile wallets to replace their entire physical wallet in the next seven and half years and cash and card payments within six and half years.

From paying for the bus or buying a coffee, to redeeming special offers or purchasing tickets to a gig, one in two (50 per cent) agree the majority of payments will be made via a mobile wallet in the near future. Although, 77 per cent believe there will always be a need for cash.

"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, Group Executive Enterprise Services and Chief Information Officer, Commonwealth Bank.

Angus Sullivan, Executive General Manager Cards, Payments, Analytics & Retail Strategy, Commonwealth Bank, says innovations like Tap & Pay smartphone payments are driving the mobile wallet revolution.

“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. 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 Mr Sullivan.

Future functionality of mobile wallets

Interestingly, the CommBank survey found it’s not just payments and mobile banking that consumers will expect from a mobile wallet. Accessing loyalty schemes (55 per cent), redeeming coupons (45 per cent), storing receipts (44 per cent) and getting around on public transport (43 per cent) are just some of the most useful features expected of mobile wallets in the future.

Other features which would make Australians use mobile wallets include:

  • to consolidate physical cards, such as loyalty or membership cards (34 per cent);
  • to store tickets for events (28 per cent);
  • so they don’t have to worry about carrying cash (25 per cent);
  • to receive personalised offers, coupons and discounts (24 per cent);
  • to replace the need to carry a physical wallet (21 per cent); and
  • to store personal identification (21 per cent).

“Mobile banking and payments are clearly going to be the primary functions of mobile wallets, at least in the short-term. However, it’s clear in many day-to-day instances consumers expect their smartphone to not only replace cash and cards, but also their bus ticket or loyalty and membership cards,” said Mr Sullivan.

Frustrations with physical wallets

It’s not just technology innovations driving mobile wallet adoption, many Australians are also becoming increasingly frustrated with their physical wallet. Everything, from being too bulky to simply remembering to pick it up on the way out, seems to be driving us towards replacing our traditional wallets.

Some of the most common frustrations with a physical wallet include:

  • forgetting to take it out (94 per cent);
  • forgetting to put specific items in a wallet (88 per cent);
  • having to carry a bulky wallet (77 per cent);
  • having to carry too many cards in a wallet (50 per cent); and
  • not being able to find the right card in a wallet (48 per cent).

Trust key to consumer adoption

For most Australians, trust and confidence in the security of mobile wallets will be key to adoption.

According to the survey, banks and financial institutions are by far the most trusted providers of mobile wallets (44 per cent), ahead of the government (16 per cent), technology companies (14 per cent), such as Google and Apple, and retail stores (10 per cent).

For more information on CommBank’s mobile wallet solutions, visit

Notes to editors:

The study:

  • Was conducted by Lonergan Research among 1,024 Australians aged 18 years and older.
  • Fieldwork commenced on Friday 31 January 2014 and was completed on Tuesday 4 February 2014.
  • After interviewing, data was weighted to the latest population estimates sourced from the Australian Bureau of Statistics.

For further information, contact:

Liz Lovett
Commonwealth Bank
T (02) 9303 1403 | M 0400 234035