• Neil Martin

Are Australians really laggards in the world of embedded finance? The truth may surprise you!



APAC marketing manager Darren Thang observed that the Australian demographic is becoming younger, with research showing that the average age of the population is less than 40-years-old.


This usually translates into a more digitally driven consumption behaviour, especially when technology and internet penetration is becoming exponentially higher. The COVID pandemic has only accelerated such behaviours as many businesses encouraged the use of contactless and mobile payments, and consumers also changed their payment behaviour to avoid cash and contact with payment terminals. Even as we enter a post pandemic era, there is no going back - this is the new norm and the potential is immense for businesses that can capitalise and fulfil the expectations of Australia’s increasingly digitally savvy consumers.


A soon-to-be cashless society


Not using cash to pay for your consumptions, that sounds like something that was completely ludicrous just a few years ago. As years go by, it is evident that cash is being used less as one's main payment method - card usage was the phenomenon that started the cashless revolution.


Research also showed that Australians made about 170 cash transactions per person on average in 2019, compared with 320 per person in 2007. In fact, it has also been predicted that cash will only make up 2% of value from all point-of-sale-transactions by 2025 - to put into perspective, this means that the actual value of the specific cash purchases in Australia will be significantly smaller in comparison to other methods by a mind-boggling 98%.


The digital and cashless age has directly influenced how people are living their lives on a daily basis - it is increasingly common for Australians to leave their home without even taking their wallets. The importance of smart devices is well acknowledged, and they are set to become an even more integral part of our lives.


As we acknowledge that Australians are increasingly embracing cashless and digital consumption, a JP Morgan payment trends global insights report has shown that e-commerce completed on a mobile device is a staggering $8.3bn. Breaking it down, mobile commerce completed in-app and on a browser is at $5.6bn and $2.7bn respectively. Dedicated apps represent a major opportunity for Australia’s businesses to leap ahead of their competition and given the huge Australian trend for discount shopping, app design should consider adding rewards and loyalty functions as part of their finance experience.


And what about consumers’ relationships with brick and mortar stores, is that going to be irrelevant in a cashless society? Not at all - in fact, brick and mortar stores are a critical part of an omnichannel strategy, even if consumption is going to be largely digital. In fact, the finance experience in a brick and mortar store contributes significantly to the customer experience for any brand. Consumption in a cashless manner in brick and mortar stores is completely possible and already the norm for consumers.


Making finance “disappear”


When we say that finance is “disappearing” for Australians, we do not mean that consumers are no longer paying for their consumption. With the development of technology and partnerships, the finance component is becoming seamlessly integrated into the customer experience, such that it is out of sight and more importantly, out of mind. Unsurprisingly, Australians are actually well-used to the concept of embedded finance and enjoying the richer finance experience - for example, ride hailing using Uber, gone are the days that Australians must rummage through their wallets to make payment, it is simply hail (using the app), ride and disembark while the finance portion is fully taken care of behind the scenes.


Increasingly, the brands Australians love are also realising the importance of making finance “disappear”. Consumers hate the current payment experience - that is a fact and if brands can embed finance into the customer journey, businesses can be expected to be rewarded with increased revenue, increased relevance and better relationships with their customers.


A new approach for any business wishing to harness the power of embedded finance experiences


For any Australian business (for example, fintech, sports club, retailer, brand) wishing to harness the power of embedded finance experiences for consumer engagement, rewards, data and revenue, the Railsr platform is a new approach. Finance capabilities, such as digital wallets, payments, rewards, loyalty points, or cards, are simple for us to create and combine into an embedded finance experience that integrates directly and seamlessly into your brand and digital journey. Clunky finance white labels and co-branded solutions are a thing of the past with the Railsr platform. We respect that your customer journey is super important to you, which is why we provide powerful APIs that keep us behind the scenes and hero of your digital journey.


Running on Railsr allows fintechs to harness the power of embedded finance experiences. Visit railsr.com to learn more.