Online Shopping Creating More Credit Card Debt For Aussies Than In-Store

Businesswoman making online payments ++++ Note for the inspector: Credit is fake and is made especially for the photosession ++++

Are credit cards and online stores a bad financial pairing? New research seems to indicate just that, with a significant proportion of Aussie credit card holders admitting they are accumulating more debt when shopping online compared with in-store shopping.

From a CouriersPlease (CP) survey of an independent, nationally representative panel of 1021 Australians, 30 per cent of credit card holders say that online shopping has created more credit card debt them.

Online shopping responsible for more credit card usage, compared with in-store purchasing

The debt might be explained by the fewer payment options when shopping online. The survey revealed that a slightly higher proportion of online shoppers (42 per cent of shoppers) use their credit card online than a debit card (40 per cent). Eighteen (18) per cent use a payment plan such as lay-by or ‘buy now pay later services’ such as Afterpay and Zip Pay.

How Aussies most commonly pay for their online purchases Percentage (%)
I use my credit card 42%
I use my debit card 40%
I use a payment plan (eg. Lay-by, Afterpay, Zip Pay) 18%


How Aussies commonly pay for in-store purchases Percentage (%)
I use my debit card 47%
I use my credit card 35%
I pay in cash 16%
I use a payment plan (eg. Lay-by, Afterpay, Zip Pay) 3%


Percentage of credit card debt Aussies pay off each month Percentage (%)
100% – I pay it off in full each month 57%
Less than 20% 17%
20-50% 14%
50-75% 11%


When shopping in-store, however, just 35 per cent of shoppers use a credit card, and significantly more (47 per cent) use a debit card. In-store shopping also has the benefit of cash payments, with 16 per cent of shoppers using this payment method. A significantly smaller proportion of in-store purchases are made via a payment plan (just three per cent of shoppers use this method).

Online shoppers paying more credit card interest

When credit card holders were asked about the percentage of their card debt they pay off each month, nearly half (43 per cent) pay off just up to 75 per cent of their balance each month. Thirty-two (32) per cent pay off less than 50 per cent of their credit card each month, and 17 per cent pay off less than 20 per cent of their balance each month.

CP spokesperson, Jessica Ip, says: “Our research indicates that online shopping transactions in Australia are more likely to have a more positive growth rate than with in-store purchase levels, with more people relying on credit and buy-now-pay-later services – essentially with money they don’t have – when making online purchases.

“With the online market attracting a growing level of transactions, retailers are now looking to help eliminate consumer disadvantages that are unique to that market: deliveries and returns. Free and fast shipping will help promote repurchasing and increase customer loyalty.”

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