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Online Payment Methods in Australia

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Last editedOct 20235 min read

At a glance:

Online shopping is growing fast in Australia. Small businesses need good online checkout to compete.

The most popular online payment methods are:

  • Credit/debit cards (familiar, secure)

  • Digital wallets (Apple Pay, Google Pay - convenient, encrypted)

  • Buy Now Pay Later (Klarna, Afterpay - pay in installments)

  • POLi Payments (bank transfers)

  • BPAY (for bills)

  • Direct Debit (for recurring bank transfers)

Your business should consider offering a mix of payment methods to suit different customers. Focus on security, convenience and flexibility. Services like GoCardless can automate direct debit payments, saving you time and money.

Australian consumers' shopping habits have seen online sales grow at an annualised 18.1 per cent over the past five years — including an estimated 6.6 per cent surge in 2022-23, with over 80% making at least one online purchase. This means that for small businesses, offering a smooth online shopping experience is more important than ever – and that extends to the checkout page. There are several options when it comes to online payment methods in Australia, from payment gateways to digital wallets. Here’s a roundup of the most popular options.

Direct debit payments

Direct debit payments involve a direct bank transfer, which makes them one of the most convenient online payment methods in Australia. They offer additional benefits to merchants, both in terms of flexibility and control. GoCardless is a direct debit provider that allows businesses to pull payments directly from a customer’s bank account. After the customer sets up an online mandate, you’ll be able to pull recurring payments to improve cash flow and reduce late or failed payments. It’s simple for small businesses to get started with GoCardless, thanks to hosted checkout flows and an easy-to-use dashboard for full visibility over incoming payments.

How to collect Direct Debit payments with GoCardless

1.

Create your free GoCardless account, access your user-friendly payments dashboard & connect your accounting software (if you use one).

2.

Easily set up & schedule Direct Debit payments via payment pages on your website checkout or secure payment links.

3.

From now on you'll get paid on time, every time, as GoCardless automatically collects payment on the scheduled date. Simple.

Get started in minutesLearn more

Credit and debit card payments

Used to pay for nearly 75% of online purchases in 2022, credit and debit cards are certainly one of Australia's most popular online payment methods. This may be due to their familiarity with consumers in comparison to some of the newer or more high-tech methods on this list. Security is also a selling point for card purchases, as cardholder details are fully encrypted during a transaction.

Credit card providers provide fraud protection, though this can come at a cost for merchants in the form of chargeback fees. Merchants also need to ensure that their payment processing system is PCI DSS compliant. This will be built in if you use any major Australian payment gateway, like PayPal, Square, or Stripe. Just be aware that you will need to pay higher per-transaction fees as a business when accepting card purchases in comparison to other methods.

Digital wallets

Digital or e-wallets are also among Australia's most popular online payment methods. This category includes services like Google Pay and Apple Pay, which can be used as payment methods on your e-commerce checkout page with an embedded link. If you take in-person payments as well, Near Field Communication (NFC) technology means that shoppers can pay for purchases with a tap of their phone.

Digital wallets can store the details of several credit and debit cards and store cards, memberships, and event tickets. They’re fully encrypted and password-protected, making them a secure option for both consumers and businesses. Mobile wallet transactions surged to 2.4 billion in 2022 from 29.2 million in 2018, and this number is expected to continue to rise over the next few years. However, keep in mind that not all customers will be familiar and/or comfortable with this technology.

Buy Now Pay Later (BNPL)

Another type of payment that’s rapidly growing in popularity is Buy Now Pay Later (BNPL). Providers like Klarna and Afterpay allow customers to spread the cost of payments out over time with a series of low or no-interest instalments. There’s usually no fee involved, nor is there a hard credit check.

While it can be difficult for a business to provide its own BNPL processing, signing up for a service like Zip Co or those mentioned above takes the guesswork out of it. Like digital wallets, not all customers will be familiar with this option, but businesses with a Gen Z or millennial demographic may find this to be a very popular method.

POLi payments

Melbourne-based POLi Payments offers a quick and easy payment system for any consumers who have an account with a participating bank. This includes all major banks like Commonwealth Bank, ANZ Bank, NAB, Westpac, BankWest, Citibank, ING Direct, and Bendigo Bank. Merchants are paid through an online system, allowing customers to make a secure online banking transfer over the POLi website.

BPAY

Used primarily to pay things like utility bills and council fees, the BPAY system isn’t as frequently used by businesses. It’s accessible to any customer with an Australian bank card developed by the major Australian banks mentioned above. At present, there are over 45,000 institutions that support BPAY for bill payments. If your business provides a service of this nature, you might choose to accept this popular online payment method.

Ultimately, the best online payment methods in Australia will depend on your business type, your core demographic, and your budget. A combination of methods usually ensures you suit the broadest range of customers.

Key Takeaways

  • Online shopping is growing rapidly in Australia, so offering a smooth online checkout experience is crucial for small businesses wanting to compete.

  • There are many payment options to choose from, but checkout complexity creates friction, leading to abandoned carts.

  • Payments like credit cards come with high fees and security risks. New options like BNPL also have drawbacks for businesses.

  • Automated bank payments through GoCardless reduce admin effort for recurring invoices. They are cheaper, more reliable and more secure than cards.

  • GoCardless pulls payments directly from customer bank accounts via direct debit. This simplifies getting paid for businesses.

  • The easy set-up and dashboard provide control and visibility over incoming payments. It removes the pain of late and failed payments.

  • Ultimately, GoCardless plus a simple card payment option covers most customer payment preferences in a cost-effective way.

Eliminate failed payments and save time, money & stress automating collection from your customers with BECS direct debit via GoCardless.

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Case Study

Eliminate failed payments and save time, money & stress automating collection from your customers with BECS direct debit via GoCardless.

Deputy is a global SaaS platform designed to simplify shift work for the world's 2.7 billion shift workers. Previously, Deputy only offered payment options through credit cards or PayPal.

However, in their drive to simplify every aspect of customer engagements, including payments, Deputy introduced bank payment options to offer customers their preferred payment methods.

Seeking a global payments partner that could provide payment gateway capabilities across all their operational regions, Deputy found an ideal fit in GoCardless, enabling collection and control over recurring payments across more than 30 countries and integrating with Deputy's existing subscription billing platform, Zuora.

Within three months, Deputy had implemented a fully functional and automated Direct Debit system worldwide.

Scott Westbrook, Director of Business Systems at Deputy, noted:

The implementation team was fantastic at talking us through what the customer journey looks like, what the different schemes’ requirements are as well as the mandate information we need to be supplying to the customer upon sign up.

GoCardless' support has helped Deputy increase the number of customers shifting from credit card or bank transfers to Direct Debit, with GoCardless fees calculated to be around 45% lower per transaction than Visa/Mastercard and 80% lower per transaction than AMEX.

This reduction in fees directly benefits Deputy's bottom line. Scott also noted that bank debit's first-time payment success rate is around 92% compared to 80% with credit cards.

Scott explained,

GoCardless has a massive impact on the business because it helps us improve cash flow. We're also not having to chase down debt, meaning our finance team can spend time on more beneficial things for the business.

Eliminate failed payments and save time, money & stress automating collection from your customers with BECS direct debit via GoCardless.

We can help

Managing online payments can be a challenge for small businesses in Australia. Juggling multiple payment methods adds complexity to your checkout process and back-office work.

GoCardless is the simpler way to get paid online. Our direct debit solution automates payment collection from customer bank accounts via bank transfer. This means you get paid on time, every time, without the cost and admin hassle of cards. It's quick and easy to get started and with no contracts or long-term commitment required it's risk-free to try.

Easy set-up and automated payment collection allow you to focus on your business, not banking. Find out how GoCardless can boost your cash flow with one-off or recurring payments.

Eliminate failed payments and save time, money & stress automating collection from your customers with BECS direct debit via GoCardless.

Try a better way to collect payments, with GoCardless. It's free to get started.

Try a better way to collect payments

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