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Australian credit card, debit card and debt statistics

By Daniel Ross

This page contains consumer credit and debt statistics -- including statistics on credit card debt, credit card delinquencies, credit scores, credit card interest rates, debit cards, prepaid cards, bankruptcies and more -- compiled by an Australia.CreditCards.com research team. Statistics on this page will be updated periodically. 

 

Bankruptcy
Total personal insolvency activity for the March quarter 2014: 7,655 -- an increase of 6.11% compared to the March
quarter 2013. 1

Total number of bankruptcies for the March quarter 2014: 4,932 -- an increase of 3.31% compared to the March quarter 2013. 1

Total number of debt agreements for the March quarter 2014: 2,678 -- the highest number on record in a quarter. 1

Total number of personal insolvency agreements for the March quarter 2014: 7,655 -- the lowest number recorded since the March quarter of 2007. 1

During the March 2014 quarter, Queensland and Western Australia registered their highest number of debt agreements on record in a quarter. 2

During the March 2014 quarter, Victoria and Western Australia recorded the highest increases in total personal insolvency activity compared to the March 2013 quarter: Victoria by 15.21%, Western Australia by 19.47%. 2

During the March 2014 quarter, 587 debtors entered into a business-related personal insolvency because of economic conditions. 2

During the March 2014 quarter, 2,238 debtors entered into personal insolvency because of non-business-related unemployment (or for a reason that wasn't specified as business-related). 2

The total personal insolvency activity in 2012-2013 was 30,822. 3

The total number of bankruptcies in 2012-2013 was 20,876. 3

The total number of debt agreements in 2012-2013 was 9,652. 3

The total number of personal insolvency agreements in 2012-2013 was 294. 3

 

Business credit cards
Business Visa credit cards are the most popular among Australian businesses, with 27% of microbusinesses and 32% of small, medium and large businesses using one. 22

Business American Express credit cards are the least popular among Australian businesses, with 9% of microbusinesses and 19% of small, medium and large businesses using one. 22

 

Card ownership
Number of credit card accounts with an interest-free period as of February 2014: 14 million -- a slight increase from the February 2013 total. 4

Number of credit card accounts without an interest-free period as of February 2014: 297,000 -- a decrease from the February 2013 total of 316,000. 4

The average monthly usage per credit card as of February 2013: 11.4 times. 11

 

Credit card use
Number of credit card and charge card accounts as of February 2014: 15.6 million -- an increase from the February 2013 total of 15.2 million. 5

Value of transactions made with credit cards with an interest-free period as of February 2014: $18 billion -- an increase of more than $1 billion from February 2013's total. 4

Value of transactions made with credit cards without an interest-free period as of February 2014: $130 million -- a decrease from the February 2013 total of $138 million. 4

Combined credit limits for credit cards with an interest-free period as of February 2014: $132 billion -- an increase from the February total of $128 billion. 4

The average Australian spent $15,859 on their credit card during 2013 -- a rise of 3.8% from 2012. 6

The average Australian had a balance of $3,151 on their credit card during 2013 -- a drop of 1.5% from 2012. 6

The average Australian had a credit limit of $9,329 on their credit card during 2013 -- a rise of 0.8% from 2012. 6

 

Credit card debt
Total balance held on credit cards with an interest-free period as of February 2014: $45 billion -- a slight increase from the February 2013 total. 4

Total balance held on credit cards without an interest-free period as of February 2014: $473 million -- a slight decrease from the February 2013 total of $517 million. 4

Total balance held on all credit cards and charge cards as of February 2014: $50 billion -- a slight increase from the February 2013 total. 5

Total balance accruing interest on all credit cards and charge cards as of February 2014: $35 billion -- a slight decrease from the February 2013 figure that almost totaled $36 billion. 5

Over half a million Australians carry more than $5,000 in credit card debt (49% of those who carry $5,000 or more in credit card debt have a degree or a diploma). 7

In Western Australia and Victoria, the median value of credit card debt per household that owes debt as of March 2012 is $4,000. 16

In Southern Australia, the median value of credit card debt per household that owes debt as of March 2012 is $3,000. 16

 

Credit reporting and scores
(It should be noted that, in light of the recent changes to the credit reporting system, experts believe that it will take months if not years before a comprehensive archive of relevant consumer credit information exists.)

85% of consumers have never accessed their credit file. 8

74% of consumers are not aware of the recent changes to the credit reporting system (from negative credit reporting to comprehensive credit reporting). 8

37% of Aussies who accessed their credit report in the past two years were given guidance on how to read the information on their credit report, and told what to do if any of the information was inaccurate. 8

81% of Australians are not concerned about their credit history. 9

The national average Veda score in Australia is 749. 9

The highest average Veda score per state is in Tasmania: 763. 9

The Lowest average Veda score per state is in Northern Territory: 731. 9

Women have better average Veda scores than men: averaging a score of 775 as opposed to 743. 9

 

Total consumer debt
In 2013, Australia's overall debt per household was proportionate to 150% of disposable income. 17

In 2013, the interest Australia paid per household was proportionate to 9% of disposable income. 17

 

Debit Cards
Number of debit card accounts as of February 2014: 38,317,000 -- an increase from 36,296,000 in February 2013. 10

Number of cash-out transactions per month using a debit card as of February 2014: 21.3 million -- a slight decrease from 22 million in February 2013. 10

Total value of cash-out transactions per month using a debit card as of February 2014: $1.37 billion -- roughly the same as in February 2013. 10

Number of purchase transactions per month using a debit card as of February 2014: 272 million -- a slight increase from 243 million in February 2013. 10

Total value of purchase transactions per month using a debit card as of February 2014: $15 billion -- an increase from $13 billion in February 2013. 10

Total number of purchase and cash-out transactions per month using a debit card as of February 2014: 275 million -- a slight increase from 246 million in February 2013. 10

Total value of purchase and cash-out transactions per month using a debit card as of February 2014: $16 billion -- an increase from $15 billion in February 2013. 10

The average monthly usage per debit card as of February 2013: 14.6. 11

The number of debit cards on issue has tripled during the last four years, while credit cards have remained largely
stable overall. 11

 

Delinquency
Around 2 million Australians do not pay off their personal credit card debt in full each month (this is an increase from 24% of credit card users in 2009 to 27% in 2013). 7

19% of Aussies pay their bank, credit card or personal loans late. 26

Aussies who are tardy paying their bank, credit card or personal loans are, on average, 13 days late. 26

In 2010, one quarter of Aussies who settled their bills late paid their bill at more than 30 days past term. 27

15% of credit active Australians (2.3 million people) are at risk of credit default in the next 6 months. 9

 

Identity theft, fraud
Total fraud on cheques and payments cards during the year to 30 June 2013 totaled $290 million -- an increase of 2% from the 12 months prior. 19

Total rate on payments card fraud during the year 2012-2013 dropped from 47.4 cents in every $1,000 to 46.1 cents. 19

The overall amount of payment card fraud during 2012-2013 was $280 million -- an increase of 1%. 19

Card-not-present (CNP) fraud represented the bulk of payment card fraud during 2012-2013: $198.9 million, showing an increase of 5% (internet use increased by 14% during the same period). 20

There were 127,042 transactions made in Australia with lost or stolen cards during 2012-2013 at a value of $17 million. 20

Australians lost $1.4 billion due to personal fraud during 2010-2011. 12

6.7% of Australians aged 15 or older were victims of at least one incident of personal fraud during 2010-2011. 12

3.7% (662,300) of Australians were victims of credit card fraud during 2010-2011 -- an increase from 2.4% in 2007. 12

0.3% (44,700) of Australians were victims of identity theft during 2010-2011 -- a decrease from 0.8% in 2007. 12

2.9% (514,500) of Australians were victims of scams during 2010-2011 -- an increase from 2.0% in 2007. 12

34.4% of victims of credit card fraud during 2010-2011 reported two or more incidents. 13

94% of victims of credit card fraud during 2010-2011 reported that only one card was fraudulently used. 13

50.3% of victims of credit card fraud during 2010-2011 were informed about the crime by a bank or financial institution. 13

72.4% of victims of credit card fraud during 2010-2011 sought reimbursement from their card issuers. 13

64% of victims of credit card fraud during 2010-2011 received reimbursement by their card issuers. 13

33.2% of victims of credit card fraud during 2010-2011 indicated that they lost money even after receiving reimbursement. 13

10% of Aussies say that they have been a victim of credit card fraud at least once between 2009 and 2014.24

 

Merchant fees
The average cost of card acceptance to merchants for a Visa or MasterCard in 2013 was 0.83%. 6

The average cost of card acceptance to merchants for an American Express card in 2013 was 1.73%. 6

The average cost of card acceptance to merchants for a Diners Card in 2013 was 2.02%. 6

 

Online, contactless, mobile use
Online sales are expected to continue to grow during the next five years and reach 9.8% of total retail sales by 2017. 14

Roughly 45% of what Australians spend online goes to overseas-based web-sites. 14

41% of smartphone users have made a purchase via their phone. 15

In 2012-2013, Aussies spent up to $13.9 billion online. 25

69% of Aussies owned a contactless card as of Sept. 2013. 25

Contactless payments represent more than 10% of all card transactions. 25

 

Rewards

In 2011, among the four major Aussie credit card issuing banks, the average amount of spending required for a $100 shopping voucher was $8,400 - up from $16,000 in 2006. 23

 

Sources:
1. Australian Financial Security Authority, quarterly statistics: March quarter 2014

2. Australian Financial Security Authority media release: March quarter 2014

3. Australian Financial Security Authority, Commentary: annual statistics 2012-2013

4. Reserve Bank of Australia: Additional Credit Card Statistics (Excel spreadsheet)

5. Reserve Bank of Australia: Credit and Charge Card Statistics (Excel spreadsheet)

6. Mastercard: A new year for payments (press release: March 2014 edition)

7. 12 months to November 2013 Roy Morgan Research, (ASIC press release, 12 March 2014)

8. Experian - "Australian unaware of new legislation" (press release 12 March 2014)

9. Veda Credit Score Card (October 2013)

10. Reserve Bank of Australia: Debit Card Statistics (Excel spreadsheet)

11. Roy Morgan research into card usage (press release April 11, 2013)

12. Australia Bureau of Statistics: Personal Fraud Costs (press release, April 2012)

13. Australian Bureau of Statistics: press release on credit card fraud, 18 April 2012

14. Frost and Sullivan: press release on online shopping, 2013

15. Australian digital statistics 2014 (press release 9 January 2014)

16. Reserve Bank of Australia: Distribution of Household Debt (Excel spreadsheet)

17. Reserve Bank of Australia: Household Sector (released 2 April 2014)

18. Australian Payments Clearing Association: Payments Fraud in Australia (17 September 2013)

19. Australian Payments Clearing Association: Fraud Statistics 2013 Financial Year

20. Australian Payments Clearing Association: Scheme Credit, Debit and Charge Card Fraud 2013 Fiscal Year

21. Roy Morgan research into business bank consumer satisfaction (press release August 2013)

22. Roy Morgan research into business credit card usage (press release August 2013)

23. Reserve Bank of Australia: Personal Credit Card Market in Australia (March quarter 2012)

24. Parking and Traffic Consultants: EMV Credit Card Technology (2014 update)

25. Australian Payment Clearing Association: Submission to the Financial System Inquiry

26. 4kq: New figures show how bad we are at paying bills (from pocketbook study, April 2014)

27. Dun and Bradstreet: One in three Aussies pay their bills late (press release, May 2010)

 

Updated: May 14, 2014

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