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More Australians are aware of Afterpay than PayPal and BPay

Source: Roy Morgan Single Source, 12 month moving average, Avg. sample = 52,731. Base: Australians 14+.
The latest Roy Morgan Digital Payments Report shows 17.5 million Australians aged 14+ (82.8%) are now aware of buy-now-pay-later services such as Afterpay, Zip, Latitude Pay, Humm and Klarna.

Awareness of buy-now-pay-later payment services is now clearly ahead of other digital payment services including the 75.6% of Australians aware of traditional online payment platforms such as PayPal and Western Union and the 71.7% aware of well-established bill payment services such as BPay and Post billpay.

Buy-now-pay-later market leader Afterpay was bought by Silicon Valley ‘tech giant’ Square for almost AUD $40 billion (USD $29 billion) in December 2021 – the largest corporate takeover in Australian history. The takeover hasn’t impacted upon growing awareness of Afterpay, now at 81.1%, up 7.7% points from a year ago in June 2021, and up a massive 47.3% points since September 2018.

The awareness of rival services has grown even faster over the last year with over three-fifths (60.7%) of Australians now aware of main competitor Zip, an increase of 7.8% points on a year ago, and just under a third (31.7%) aware of Latitude Pay, also up 7.8% points on June 2021.

The three main buy-now-pay-later services have been joined by a range of smaller fintech companies including Humm, Openpay and newest entrant Klarna. Klarna is a Swedish-headquartered company which entered the Australian market in early 2020, just before the global pandemic began.

Australia’s largest bank, the Commonwealth Bank, has invested in the Swedish firm and holds a four per cent stake in Klarna’s unlisted business. In June 2022 one-in-six Australians (16.6%) were aware of Klarna while nearly a quarter of Australians, 22.1% (up 7.6% points on a year ago) were aware of Humm and just under one-in-five (18.7%, up 5.7% points) were aware of Openpay.

Buy-now-pay-later payment services awareness trends: 2018-2022

Source: Roy Morgan Single Source, 12 month moving average, Avg. sample = 52,731. Base: Australians 14+.

Usage of Buy-Now-Pay-Later services – June 2022

Source: Roy Morgan Single Source, 12 month moving average, Avg. sample = 52,731. Base: Australians 14+.

Roy Morgan CEO Michele Levine says awareness about buy-now-pay-later services has continued to grow even as the restrictions on travel and movement imposed during the last two years have been lifted and Australians can now spend their money on a wider range of services:

“Over 17.5 million Australians (82.8%) now say they have heard of one of the buy-now-pay-later digital payment services such as Afterpay, Zip, Latitude Pay, Humm, Openpay or newest service Klarna – up over 1.5 million on a year ago (up 7.3% points).

“This is a higher level of awareness than there is for far more established digital payment services including established online payment platforms such as PayPal and Western Union and more traditional bill payment services such as BPay and Post billpay.

“The buy-now-pay-later sector enjoyed stellar growth during the last two years as hundreds of billions of dollars of government stimulus, as well as restrictions on travel and extended lockdowns in much of Australia, led to an extended retail spending boom which continues to this day.

“The latest ABS Retail Sales for the month of May 2022 show retail sales of $34.2 billion for the month up 10.4% on a year ago. In comparison, the retail sales for February 2020, before COVID-19 hit, were at $27.8 billion – an annual increase of only 1.9%. A direct comparison between the two months shows retail sales increasing over $6.4 billion in just over two years – up over 23%.

“These powerful retail sales have been a strong wind behind buy-now-pay-later companies for much of this period and late last year Afterpay was purchased for a record $39 billion AUD – the largest corporate takeover in Australia’s history.

“Although Afterpay is clearly the market leader and with easily the highest awareness at 81.1% of Australians, they have been joined by several competitors in recent years. The most prominent is the Sydney-headquartered Zip, known of by over three-fifths of Australians (60.7%).

“General awareness is an important first step, usage of the service is the most important metric to keep an eye on. Now over 4 million Australians (19.1%) used a buy-now-pay-later service in the year to June 2022, up by around 700,000 (+3.4% points) on a year ago, and up from only 6.8% of Australians in September 2018.

“The most frequent users of buy-now-pay-later digital payment services tend to be aged either 25-34 or 35-49 years old with different age groups clearly preferring different brands. Importantly, it is women who are clearly the largest users of buy-now-pay-later services indicating that men are potentially an under-served marketing opportunity.

“To learn more about Australia’s fast-changing digital payments eco-system Roy Morgan’s latest Digital Payments Report provides a wealth of detail and in-depth understanding of the Australians using not only buy-now-pay-later services but also bill payment services, online payment platforms, contactless/cardless mobile payments and wearable payment devices.”

These new digital payment findings are from Roy Morgan Single Source, Australia’s leading consumer survey, derived from in-depth interviews with around 50,000 Australians annually.

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About Roy Morgan

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

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%