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Our Digital Universe: NZ smartphone users ahead of Australians on mobile banking

Source: Roy Morgan Single Source New Zealand and Australia, January – June 2013. Base: Smartphone owners 14+; New Zealand n = 2152, Australia n = 5151

New Zealanders have been slower to take up smartphones than their Trans-Tasman counterparts—but once they get one, they are more likely to bank on them, the latest Digital Universe report from Roy Morgan Research shows.

Just 38.6% of New Zealanders 14+ have a smartphone, compared with 59.7% of Australians 14+. But while Australia may be home to over eight times as many smartphone users overall, New Zealand’s 1.4 million are more likely to use them for mobile banking activities.

In the first half of 2013, 33.5% of New Zealand’s smartphone users did one or more banking and finance activity on their phone in an average four weeks, compared with 30.6% of Australian smartphone users.

Kiwi users are 24% more likely than Aussies to check bank account balances (30.5% vs 24.6%) and 33% more likely to view statements (14.2% vs 10.7%) within a four week period.

Smartphone banking activities by NZ and Aus Smartphone Owners 

Source:  Roy Morgan Single Source New Zealand and Australia, January – June 2013. Base: Smartphone owners 14+; New Zealand n = 2152, Australia n = 5151

But despite these higher rates of account-checking, we are somewhat more reluctant to use our mobiles to execute actual transactions. The proportion of smartphone users making bank transactions or paying bills is almost identical in New Zealand and Australia: 21.1% of Kiwi and 21.5% of Aussie smartphoners make transactions on their phones, with 12.3% and 12.4% respectively use their phone to pay bills.

Pip Elliott, General Manager, Roy Morgan Research NZ, says:

“New Zealand is on par with Australia when it comes to rates of smartphone owners using their phones for sending money or paying bills, but smartphone owners here are more likely to check balances and view statements.  

“The level of comfort with smartphones apps, especially those in the banking and finance space that wirelessly connect to our personal accounts and information, is a key indicator of technology adoption. So while smartphone penetration is still lower in New Zealand than Australia, these results suggest that as more and more Kiwis adopt the technology, our level of comfort with smartphones—and integration into our everyday lives—will be high. 

“Our latest Digital Universe report examines an array of trends within the digital space, and how new technologies and rates of adoption are impacting new Zealanders’ lifestyles and attitudes.”

Visit our online store to purchase the latest Digital Universe report for New Zealand.

For comments or more information please contact:

Pip Elliott, General Manager, Roy Morgan Research NZ

Telephone: +64 (9) 912 7032

Mobile: +64 (0)21 444 506

Digital Universe - 2013, New Zealand, Presentation

About Roy Morgan Research

Roy Morgan Research is the largest independent Australian research company, with offices in each state of Australia, as well as in New Zealand, the United States and the United Kingdom. A full service research organisation specialising in omnibus and syndicated data, Roy Morgan Research has over 70 years’ experience in collecting objective, independent information on consumers.

In Australia, Roy Morgan Research is considered to be the authoritative source of information on financial behaviour, readership, voting intentions and consumer confidence. Roy Morgan Research is a specialist in recontact customised surveys which provide invaluable and effective qualitative and quantitative information regarding customers and target markets.

Roy Morgan Research New Zealand

Roy Morgan Research was set up in New Zealand in the 1990s and has been collecting information across a wide range of industries in New Zealand ever since.  Roy Morgan currently has over 10 years of trended data on a geographically and demographically representative sample of over 12,000 New Zealanders aged 14+. 

Margin of Error

The margin of error to be allowed for in any estimate depends mainly on the number of interviews on which it is based. Margin of error gives indications of the likely range within which estimates would be 95% likely to fall, expressed as the number of percentage points above or below the actual estimate. Allowance for design effects (such as stratification and weighting) should be made as appropriate.

Sample Size

Percentage Estimate


25% or 75%

10% or 90%

5% or 95%