As the big four banks complete their rollouts of Apple Pay in Australia, the Apple service is driving an increase in contactless payments. New data from the Roy Morgan Digital Payments Report indicates a “sharp increase” in use of non-bank contactless services in Australia.

The report details that 10.8% of Australians now use non-bank contactless services, and Appel Pay accounts for 6.5% of that:

A total of 10.8% of Australians now use non-bank contactless mobile payment services such as Apple Pay and Google Pay, up from 7.1% a year ago. Apple Pay is now used by 6.5% (up from 4.1%) and Google Pay is now used by 4.1% (up from 3.6%). Samsung Pay was unchanged at 1%.

This increase comes amid the COVID-19 pandemic, when users are looking for alternatives to cash:

“COVID-19 has put personal hygiene front and centre for Australians and this includes the way we pay for goods and services. Many retailers are requesting contactless payment be used rather than handling cash to reduce the opportunities for passing on COVID-19,” said Roy Morgan CEO Michele Levine.

“Apple Pay in particular has enjoyed impressive growth over the past year, with 6.5% of Australians now using the service, up from 4.1% a year ago,” said Ms. Levine.

But perhaps most notably for Apple Pay in Australia, the big four banks have now all rolled out support for the platform. The big banks in Australia had sparred with Apple over access to the iPhone’s NFC hardware, but ultimately they gave in and adopted Apple’s platform.

ANZ was the first of the big four banks in Australia to adopt Apple Pay, followed by CommBank and NAB last year. Westpac added support last month, acknowledging the need for contactless payment opportunities during COVID-19.

You can read the full report at Roy Morgan here. Have you used Apple Pay more recently because of COVID-19? Or has your usage actually declined because you’re staying at home? Let us know down in the comments!

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