Popular Online Payment Methods in Australia and New Zealand

The Asia-Pacific (APAC) region is most often associated with China – the region’s largest country. However, one island nation is grabbing its share of the APAC eCommerce spotlight: Australia.

The eleventh largest eCommerce market globally, Australia offers valuable opportunities for international merchants to extend their reach. Due to its close physical proximity to, and cultural similarities with, New Zealand, many eCommerce businesses selling in Australia also market to consumers in this neighboring country.

Despite being less widely known within the APAC region, both countries offer international merchants lucrative opportunities for eCommerce success. In Australia, merchants have ample opportunities to reach eCommerce buyers for various compelling reasons, including the following:

87.8% internet penetration rate in the country

• Significant growth in a business-to-consumer eCommerce market already totaling USD 36.7 billion

• Widespread adoption of online shopping in both urban and rural areas

In the New Zealand eCommerce market, the number of users is forecasted to reach 3.2 million by 2025. This is an increase of 0.3 million users from 2019.

New Zealand is also gaining traction on the world stage for eCommerce. In 2021 alone, eCommerce there grew by 15%, in part due to an expanding middle class of consumers eager for overseas products and brands. eCommerce in New Zealand is expected to continue expanding as eCommerce market users are forecast to reach 3.2 million by 2025.

Benefits of Accepting Locally Preferred Payment Methods 

What does it take to flourish in the Australia and New Zealand eCommerce markets? Merchants must provide a seamless and convenient online shopping experience from start to finish. One way to achieve this goal is to offer online shoppers their locally preferred payment methods at checkout, which provides several merchant benefits.

Lower Shopping Cart Abandonment Rates 

Merchants that provide online shoppers with multiple options to pay using locally preferred payment methods experience lower shopping cart abandonment rates. According to a 2021 eCommerce report from PayPal Australia, 35% of online buyers abandon their carts if their preferred payment methods are unavailable.

Higher Approval Rates

Accepting locally preferred payment schemes with higher international approval rates, digital wallets can optimize the process while saving merchants precious time, money and headaches.

International credit card approval rates average between 50% and 60% – much lower than  domestic credit card approval rates of 80% to 90%. International approval rates are lower because credit card information resides in different countries making it harder for acquirers to reconcile overseas transactions.

Here’s a powerful solution for merchants: Use digital wallets to accept locally preferred payment schemes with higher international approval rates. The result is saved time and money.

Lower Fraud and Chargeback Rates

International eCommerce payment fraud rates can be three to five times higher than domestic rates. When fraud occurs in a foreign transaction, reclaiming those funds can be more challenging. Conversely, accepting preferred payment methods helps prevent fraud at no extra cost to the merchant and makes conducting cross-border eCommerce that much easier.

Related Read: Global eTailer Increases Cross-Border Revenue with Mobile Wallet Solution

Case Study: eCommerce: Global Etailer Increases Cross-Border Revenue with Moble Wallet Solution

Popular Online Payment Methods in Australia and New Zealand

The eCommerce outlook for Australia and New Zealand is bright. The USD 36.7 billion Australian eCommerce market value is projected to rise at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 13.27% from 2022 to2025. Meanwhile, Statista projects that New Zealand’s eCommerce market value will reach USD 6.96 billion in 2022 by expanding at a projected growth rate of 18.04%.

Australia’s close proximity to China influences its eCommerce market.  A substantial 21% of the Australian eCommerce market is made up of cross-border payments – 40%  of which are transacted with China.

To optimize eCommerce with Australia, it makes sense for merchants in China to accept the most widely used payment methods in the country.

Credit and Debit Cards

Credit and debit cards remain a popular way to pay in Australia and New Zealand, accounting for 39.9% of online payments. Visa®, Mastercard® and American Express® are the most popular international credit cards in both countries, with UnionPay among the top local card schemes.

A growing digital wallet base: 47% of Australians prefer to pay using a digital wallet. 23% of New Zealanders use their mobile phones at least once a week to pay for products and services.

That said, recent studies signal a growing digital wallet base. Savvy, a leading Australian asset finance broker, reveals that 47% of Australians prefer to pay using a digital wallet, while a Venture Insights survey of New Zealanders found that nearly 23% of respondents use their mobile phones at least once a week to pay for products and services.

Digital Wallets


When it comes to digital wallets, most Australians prefer PayPal. According to Australia Post research, 48.8% of all online payments are made with PayPal. And online shoppers in New Zealand also prefer PayPal.

"Savvy Gen Z shoppers are twice as prone to abandon their cart on a poorly mobile-optimized site than their Gen X parents." - Simon Banks, Director of PayPal Enterprise

With mobile online purchases on the rise, Director of PayPal Enterprise Simon Banks has advised, “It’s a good time for businesses to double down on their mobile-optimization efforts to improve their conversion rates, particularly as Gen Z consumers, who have never known life without a mobile, are gaining purchase power. Savvy Gen Z shoppers are twice as prone (43%) to abandon their cart on a poorly mobile-optimized site than their Gen X parents (20%).”


In Australia, increasing demand for in-store QR-code payment solutions is expected to attract an even larger digital wallet user base, which will undoubtedly spill over into the eCommerce landscape. In particular, online usage of Alipay, a digital wallet established by Alibaba Group, appears poised to keep growing exponentially.

In 2014, Alibaba Group formed a strategic partnership with Australia Post to connect more Australian consumers through the eCommerce space. Part of that deal included distributing Alipay purchase cards at Australia Post stores, which consumers could use to directly purchase products on Tmall, Taobao, and other online stores that accept Alipay.More recently, Alipay – which boasts more than 1.3 billion annual active users worldwide – was on-boarded onto Australia’s first commerce integration platform, AlphaCommerceHub. Having Alipay on the platform has simplified access to payments and created a frictionless transaction experience for vendors and consumers alike.

QR Code Payments: What Merchants Need To Know

WeChat Pay

WeChat Pay, a payment feature integrated into the Chinese WeChat instant messaging and social media app, is another popular digital wallet on the rise in Australia and New Zealand. The company revealed that transactions across its WeChat Mini programs in Australia and New Zealand rose 480% in 2020. In mid 2021, WeChat Pay was handling more than one billion daily transactions in Australia and New Zealand, thanks in large part to Chinese tourists, students, and residents in the area.


The Klarna app has surpassed 1 million downloads in Australia, making it among the region's most well-known BNPL digital wallet providers.

Buy now, pay later (BNPL) payments, which allow shoppers to buy an item and pay for it in increments over time, are gaining traction in Australia and New Zealand. According to the aforementioned Australia Post research, BNPL schemes represent 6.7% of online transactions in Australia. Having surpassed 1 million downloads of its app in Australia, Klarna is among the region’s most well-known BNPL digital wallet providers. In New Zealand, BNPL is now used in 25% of all online payment transactions.

BNPL payment methods are particularly attractive to younger consumers in the coveted Gen Z and Millennial segments. Acceptance of BNPL payments also leads to increased average ticket sizes, enabling consumers to spend more. RBC Capital Markets estimates that BNPL options increase retail conversion rates 20% to 30% and boost average ticket sizes 30% to 50%.

Accelerate Growth in Australia and New Zealand with the Right Global Payments Processor

Entering a new international market successfully  takes the right strategic partners. That’s why merchants need to choose a global payments processor with expertise specific to eCommerce in Australia and New Zealand.

Factors to Consider When Entering a New Market

Here are a few factors to consider when selecting a global payments processor:

One Integration for All Payment Schemes 

Integrating your eCommerce store with  multiple individual payment schemes can be expensive and resource-intensive. Look for a global payments processor that offers one integration to connect them all. For example, with Citcon, one simple integration allows you to start accepting more than 150 digital wallets, credit cards, and local payment schemes. Plus, all payments are centralized into one reconciliation.

No Setup Fees or Downtime 

Setup fees can add up, and downtime for any business is costly. Look for a global payments processor that can get your website set up cost-effectively to accept more payment methods without interrupting your online sales.


Not all global payments processors are compatible with all eCommerce platforms. Ensure the processor you choose is compatible with major eCommerce carts and gateways including your own.


While global payments processing should be intuitive for you and your team, it’s vital that any processor you choose offers 24/7 support and can provide training to ensure delivery of a seamless experience for your customers.

Single Reconciliation

Choosing a global payments processor that offers single, automated reconciliation saves time and reduces manual accounting errors.

No Extra Fees on Top of Domestic MDR

Pay close attention to the fine print. Choose a payment processor that doesn’t tack on fees in addition to the domestic merchant discount rate (MDR).

Digital Wallet Payments Guaranteed

For peace of mind – and to add savings from fewer chargebacks to your bottom line – select a global payments processor that guarantees digital wallet payments.

Citcon helps businesses accelerate growth by providing access to a comprehensive  array of locally preferred payment options worldwide, including popular online payment methods in Australia and New Zealand.

Connect with a payments professional at Citcon today to learn more.

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