Mapped: Key consumer financial trends in Australia
December 8th, 2021, Cheryl Kar

Mapped: Key consumer financial trends in Australia

Despite the measured reopening of its borders, Australia’s economic recovery has been much faster than in many other developed markets. With a series of mergers and acquisitions underway and new opportunities arising in financial systems, the latest data from YouGov Profiles, an audience intelligence tool, delves deep to understand the key consumer financial trends that will enable marketers to understand their audience better.

Banking habits of consumers in Australia

According to the data, a significant proportion of consumers in the country hold a savings account (64%), followed by a credit card account (37%).

However, a drill-down reveals some demographic differences. Millennials, for instance, are the most likely generation to hold a home mortgage bank account (Gen Z: 5%; Millennials: 27%, 50+: 20%). Half of consumers aged over 50 years are likely to hold a credit card account (51%), while this number dips significantly when looking at Millennials (28%) and Gen Zers (10%).

Zooming into the frequency of credit card usage shows that one in four consumers over 50 use their credit cards more than once a week (24%), while Millennials and Gen Zers are less likely to do so (Millennials: 16%, Gen Z: 3%).

With online banking taking the finance industry by storm, we also asked consumers about their smartphone banking frequency. Gen Zers (20%) and Millennials (19%) lead in saying they use smartphone banking for four to six times a week, while one in ten of those over 50 years (9%) tend to show such habits.

Saving, investing or paying off debts: What’s important for consumers?

We also looked further to understand what is consumers’ priority when it comes to money management and why are they saving money. The data shows that while saving for the future emerges as the top priority across all generations, this behaviour is skewed towards younger groups. Nearly three in five Gen Zers (58%) compared to 46% of Millennials and 35% of those over 50 years prioritise saving. Paying off debts, followed by investing, emerge as the next important issues in money management across all generations.

So what are they saving for?

Our data shows that about the same share of Millennials and Gen Zers are currently saving for a new home (35% and 33%, respectively). Gen Zers are also likely to save to purchase a new car (27%). On the other end of the spectrum, saving for an emergency fund emerges as the second priority among Millennials (28%).

For consumers over the age of 50 years, saving for retirement is the top priority (30%).

But who’s more confident when it comes to money matters?

Three in ten Gen Zers tell us they consider their level of financial knowledge as low (31%), followed by a quarter of those over the age of 50 (25%). Millennials are least likely to say their knowledge is low (20%).

TV advertising continues to get attention across all age groups

In the last 30 days, YouTube emerged as the most used online social networking platform among Gen Zers (75%). The older age cohorts, however, tell us they have been using Facebook the most (Millennials: 75%, 50+: 71%).

Gen Zers are twice as likely to pay attention to advertisements on online platforms than on TV (61% vs 34%). It’s the same scenario when considering Millennials (online adverts: 63% vs TV adverts: 37%). On the flipside, consumers over the age of 50 years tend to pay more attention to TV adverts than online ads (52% vs 45%). However, it’s worth noting that advertisements on TV continue to get attention across age groups.

The data also shows that one in four Millennials still notice advertisements on radio (25%), when compared to other generations (Gen Z: 20%; 50+: 32%). Radio should not be underestimated as an advertising channel as it still ranks third for effectiveness across all groups.

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Methodology: YouGov Profiles is based on continuously collected data and rolling surveys, rather than from a single limited questionnaire. YouGov Profiles data is nationally representative and weighted by age, gender, education, region, and race. Learn more about YouGov Profiles.