By the numbers: Australian credit and debit card statistics

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on April 07, 2022 Fact Checked
By the numbers: Australian credit and debit card statistics

How many Aussies use a credit card? How much credit card debt do we have? How many debit card transactions are made each month? We reveal the answers to these questions and more.

The past two years saw a number of Aussies take advantage of lockdowns and stay-at-home orders to save and pay down debts, taking credit cards to the sword. Payment alternatives such as buy-now, pay-later (BNPL) services have shot to fame, with over a million Aussies now swapping plastic for digital payment services offering interest-free payment instalments.

Monthly payments data provided by the ABS and Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) details a number of insights into how we ultimately tap, swipe and use the pieces of plastic that lie within our wallets.

Find out what the statistics reveal about:


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    Lender

    FixedUnsecuredN/AMore details
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    • No extra repayment or early exit fees
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    Low Rate Personal Loan Unsecured (Excellent Credit)

    • No extra repayment or early exit fees
    • No ongoing fees
    • Up to $75,000 in loan amounts
    • Funding approved within 24 hours
    VariableUnsecuredN/AN/AMore details
    NO ONGOING FEES
    • No application fees
    • No ongoing fees
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    NO ONGOING FEES

    Plenti Personal Loan (Excellent Credit Rating) (Variable)

    • No application fees
    • No ongoing fees
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    FixedUnsecuredN/AMore details
    CHECK YOUR RATE IN 2 MINUTES
    • No ongoing fees
    • No early exit charges
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    CHECK YOUR RATE IN 2 MINUTES

    Unsecured Loan (Excellent Credit)

    • No ongoing fees
    • No early exit charges
    • Apply online
    FixedUnsecuredN/AMore details
    FUNDING WITHIN 24 HOURS
    • 2-min rate estimate
    • Flexible repayments
    • No monthly, ongoing or early repayment fees
    FUNDING WITHIN 24 HOURS

    Liberty Personal Loan (Excellent Credit History)

    • 2-min rate estimate
    • Flexible repayments
    • No monthly, ongoing or early repayment fees

    *Comparison rates based on a loan of $30,000 for a five-year loan term. Warning: this comparison rate is true only for this example and may not include all fees and charges. Different terms, fees or other loan amounts might result in a different comparison rate, Rates correct as of June 29, 2022. View disclaimer.


    Australian credit card debt

    See the total value of Australia’s personal credit card debt, plus the total credit card debt that’s accruing interest.

    Since the onset of the COVID pandemic, many Australians sought to take control of their finances, utilising savings to pay off credit card debts.

    Monthly credit card purchases

    Australian's appetite for credit remains strong, with the number and value of credit card purchases not far off record highs, despite the sharp fall in credit card debt.

    Monthly credit card repayments

    See the total value of credit card repayments made each month.

    Credit vs debit card spending

    Debit card spending continues to outpace credit card spending. Debit card spend first overtook credit card spend in May 2019, before the onset of the pandemic appeared to widen the gap further.

    Number of credit cards vs debit cards

    The number of active credit accounts continues to decline as Australians look to continue to pay off debts and chop the pieces of plastic held in their wallets in two. Meanwhile, the number of debit cards on issue is steadily rising.

    Cash withdrawals

    With ATM use dwindling, cash withdrawals have also taken a dive in recent times.

    NPP payments

    Since launching in 2018, the usage of the New Payments Platform (NPP), which allows instant transfers (e.g. Osko payments), has continued to rise.

    Cheque usage

    In an age where digital payments rule the roost, cheque usage continues to decline.


    Image by Mark O'Flynn via Unsplash

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    author-avatar
    Jacob Cocciolone joined the Savings team in 2021 as a Finance Journalist. Driven by a passion for keeping Australians up to date with the latest financial news and trends, his areas of interest include financial technology, investing, property and motoring.

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