Consumer Payment Card News

Australian Credit Cards Bushwhacked in the Outback

Australians credit cards have been in hiding in the outback as credit card debt declined 1.7% in February year-on-year (YOY), to its lowest level since the winter of 2017, while the number of credit card accounts diminished by 730,000 since February 2018. Credit card spending was also sluggish increasing by a mere 1.5% YOY in February.

Australia Credit Cards

Credit card balances declined 1.7% YOY in February, following a 2.1% YOY decline in January, according to Australian credit card balance and usage data released this week by the Reserve Bank of Australia. Australians owed AU$51.3 billion in February, compared to AU$51.2 billion for January and AU$52.2 billion for February 2018.

Credit Card Spending

The amount of purchases in February edged up to 1.5% YOY in the wake of a 4.8% YOY decline in January. Purchase dollar volume (PDV), or the amount of purchases charged to credit cards, increased to AU$26.7 billion in February, compared to AU$26.0 billion in January and AU$26.1 billion for February 2018, according to CardData.

Meanwhile, cash dollar volume (CDV), or cash advances taken with a credit card, dropped 20.8% YOY in February, compared to a decline of 19.8% YOY in January. CDV posted at AU$583 million in February, compared to AU$648 million in January and AU$736 million for February 2018.

Credit Card Outlook

The number of credit and charge card accounts slipped 4.4% YOY in February, compared to a 4.9% decline in January. At end of February Australians held 15.85 million credit card accounts, compared to 15.89 million in the prior month, and compared to 16.58 million one-year ago, according to RAM Research.

The weekly ANZ-Roy Morgan Australian Consumer Confidence index notes 30% of Australians say they are “better off” in mid-April, compared to 28% in mid-March. About 25% of Aussies say they are “worse off over the same period. However, improvements in sentiment toward current economic conditions were not strong enough to offset falls in the future sentiment of economic conditions.

Australian Consumer Credit Card Outstandings

Feb 2017: AU$52.6 billion
Feb 2018: AU$52.2 billion
Feb 2019: AU$51.3 billion

Additional Current & Historical Monthly Australian Credit Card Outstandings

Australian Consumer Credit Card Credit Limits

Feb 2017: AU$151.3 billion
Feb 2018: AU$153.5 billion
Feb 2019: AU$150.9 billion

Additional Current & Historical Monthly Australian Credit Card Credit Limits

Australian Consumer Credit Card Purchase Volume

Feb 2017: AU$24.4 billion
Feb 2018: AU$26.1 billion
Feb 2019: AU$25.7 billion

Additional Current & Historical Monthly Australian Credit Card Purchase Volume

Australian Consumer Credit Card Cash Advances

Feb 2017: AU$738 million
Feb 2018: AU$736 million
Feb 2019: AU$583 billion

Additional Current & Historical Monthly Australian Credit Card Cash Advances

Australian Consumer Credit Card Gross Dollar Volume

Feb 2017: AU$25.5 billion
Feb 2018: AU$25.7 billion
Feb 2019: AU$25.6 billion

Additional Current & Historical Monthly Australian Credit Card Gross Volume

Australian Consumer Credit/Charge Card Accounts

Feb 2017: 16.70 million
Feb 2018: 16.58 million
Feb 2019: 15.85 million

Additional Current & Historical Monthly Australian Credit Card Accounts

Source: Reserve Bank of Australia; CardData; RAM Research; ANZ Roy Morgan; CardTrak