Shoppers increasingly switch to credit over debit as cost of living continues to bite 

Shoppers increasingly switch to credit over debit as cost of living continues to bite 

Credit cards are New Zealand’s leading payment method, for both point-of-sale (POS) (44%) and eCommerce (28%).

  • Buy now, pay later (BNPL) use (11%) in New Zealand is the second highest in APAC, behind Australia (15%)
  • The use of credit products in New Zealand has grown steadily over the past few years, while debit use continues to decline

According to new research in the Global Payments Report 2024 from Worldpay®, credit cards are New Zealand’s leading payment method at point of sale (POS), accounting for 44% of transaction value, as Kiwis continue to turn to credit amid the increasing cost of living pressures in the country.

The research points to New Zealanders’ increasing reliance on credit products over the past few years, with credit card transaction values growing at over 10% CAGR from 2020 to 2023, representing 44% of point-of-sale (POS) spend. As credit card use continues to grow, demand for BNPL products also remains strong, growing at nearly 18% CAGR from 2020 to 2023 and commanding 11% of e-commerce transaction value.

Paul Koopmans, Vice President, Commercial – ANZ, Worldpay

Paul Koopmans, Vice President, Commercial – ANZ, Worldpay, said, “In today’s uncertain economic landscape, Kiwi consumers are adapting their payment habits. As many New Zealanders face challenges with the cost of living, there’s a noticeable inclination towards credit cards, potentially as a means to sustain spending, underscoring resilience in consumer behaviour.

“Additionally, demand for seamless shopping experiences is evident, driving the growth of embedded credit options like BNPL. Aligning with global trends, digital wallets are experiencing a surge, with more consumers opting for wallet-based transactions over traditional card payments. This evolution reflects a broader movement towards convenience and flexibility in the payment ecosystem.”

Additional key findings from the report include:

  • New Zealanders’ use of credit cards at POS is the fourth highest in APAC, behind Hong Kong (41%), South Korea and Taiwan, and significantly higher than that of Australians (34%).
  • Credit cards are also New Zealanders’ leading payment method for e-commerce, representing 28% of transaction value, followed by digital wallets (24%), debit cards/prepaid cards (23%), Account to Account (A2A) (12%) and BNPL (11%).
    • In the region in 2023, New Zealand had the second-highest BNPL usage behind Australia (15%), well above the APAC average of 4%.
  • The decline in debit card use at POS can be also be attributed to a Kiwi consumers’ shift towards digital wallets (3% in 2019 to 11% in 2023). The total estimated 2023 POS transaction value equated to:
  • NZD$55.97 billion** (US$33.7 billion) in credit card transaction value in 2023, inclusive of digital wallets
  • NZD$47.34 billion** (US$28.5 billion) in debit card transaction value in 2023, inclusive of digital wallets

About The Global Payments Report

The Global Payments Report 2024 offers a snapshot of today’s payments landscape: globally, by region and in 40 select markets. The report tracks consumer payments when shopping online and at the point of sale, identifies key payment trends, and projects future scenarios for payment method shares as well as market size. The report’s data was collected using a survey of 48,000 consumers, secondary research, and extensive validation by payments experts from each region; the complete research methodology is published as an appendix to the report. Published continuously since 2015, the Global Payments Report is an industry benchmark used by merchants, financial institutions, press and researchers around the world. To download the complete copy of the report, visit:

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