The Australian Payments Clearing Association expects monthly volumes of debit card transactions to be over 350 million in 2015. The corresponding value is estimated to be USD 19 billion. This is owed to rising preference by the population to move towards a cashless society. Developments in financial technology are also fueling market growth. Legislative changes now allow new players to enter the market. This coupled with innovation would propel debit card use in Australia.
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Debit card is a card that permits the holder to transfer money via the electronic route from his/her bank account to the merchant. Pay-now is a term that represents any immediate debit card solution. These cards enable customers to buy goods and services using plastic cards. In this scenario, the funds for the transaction are drawn directly from the buyer’s checking/current/transaction account. These payments need to be verified by the customers by the input of a PIN (Personal Identification Number) already allotted to them, or by signing a receipt.
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For lower-value transactions, some debit cards also allow contactless transactions, in which case PINs or signatures are done away with. A debit card is always linked to a buyer’s personal bank account. It does not offer access to revolving credit. The most common debit card type is an ATM (Automated Teller Machine) card or the EFTPOS (Electronic Funds Transfer at Point of Sales) card.
Some of the main advantages of a debit card are that they are flexible and are accompanied with ATM access. They do not allow consumers to enter into debts and do not bear huge interest charges. They also offer high security as even if they get lost or stolen, only the account to which they are linked is affected. These factors are fueling higher debit card usage in Australia. Debit cards witnessed higher demand than credit cards in this nation. Commonwealth Bank of Australia is a leading issuer of debit cards.
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However, certain factors limit their growth. These include overdraft fees and overdrawn account fees. Also, they limit our spending ability to only the amount of money present in that particular bank account.
The various parameters used to assess the usage and popularity of debit cards in Australia include average transaction value, number of transactions, number of cards issued, frequency of use, turnover per card, card scheme/card association (including MASTER CARD/VISA).
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