Apple Pay has rapidly increased its penetration of the Australian market over the past 12 months and is set to overtake Afterpay in usage among Australians, according to the latest insights from Roy Morgan.

Michele Levine, CEO, Roy Morgan, says the wide variety and growth of digital payment services available are providing an increasing challenge to traditional services such as PayPal and BPAY.

“The growth in usage of Apple Pay has been rapid over the last year with over 3.2 million Australians (15.2 per cent of the population) using the service in the year to February 2023, up significantly from a year ago.

“Apple Pay is closing in fast on ‘buy-now-pay-later’ leader Afterpay, which was used by around 3.3 million Australians (15.6 per cent of the population) in the year to February 2023. The two newer digital payment services are clearly the standouts from amongst the newer players in the market.

“Apple Pay launched in Australia in late 2015 just over a year after Afterpay and both have grown their market share rapidly over the last decade.”

Levine highlights how competitive the digital payment services market is in Australia, with both Latitude Pay and openpay exiting the ‘buy-now-pay-later’ market in recent months as interest rates have increased and competition in the market intensified.

She explains: “Overall awareness of ‘buy-now-pay-later’ services such as Afterpay, Zip and Klarna is high with the sector the most well-known type of digital payment service – now 18 million Australians (84 per cent) say they are aware of these services. However, only 4.3 million Australians (19.9 per cent) have used a ‘buy-now-pay-later’ service in the year to February 2023.

“The usage of ‘buy-now-pay-later’ services still trails well behind more traditional digital payment services such as ‘online payment platforms’ PayPal, Visa Checkout and Masterpass. Nearly half of Australians, 10.2 million (47.5 per cent), used an online payment platform in the year to February 2023 – despite lower overall awareness.

“A large factor in the huge difference in the usage of the three services can be put down to time in the market. Both PayPal and BPAY launched in the late 1990s, over 20 years ago, while Afterpay, Apple Pay and other newer rivals have only been in the market for under a decade.”

These new digital payment findings are from Roy Morgan Single Source, Australia’s leading consumer survey, derived from in-depth interviews with around 60,000 Australians annually.

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