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Phones and watches are an increasingly popular way to pay

Kamahl Cogdon, October 25, 2020 6:30PM Kids News

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Digital wallets that allow smart devices to be used instead of bank cards are becoming more popular in Australia. media_cameraDigital wallets that allow smart devices to be used instead of bank cards are becoming more popular in Australia.


Reading level: orange

Technology is changing the way we shop. Not only can we buy things without using cash, the rise of the digital wallet means we now don’t even need to have our bank card on us.

A digital wallet is an app that allows a person to use an electronic device like a smartphone, tablet or smart watch in place of their physical bank card.

Westpac director of digital security Josh Nast said digital wallets like Apple Pay, Samsung Pay and Google Pay made shopping faster, easier and potentially* safer.

“As more Australians pay in-store and online using their digital wallets, people can spend in confidence knowing that their details and funds are protected by the latest technology,” Mr Nast said. 

Cute teenager using mobile application and credit card media_cameraDigital wallets are used just like bank cards but with extra security features to protect the user’s money and account.

While a digital wallet is used just like a bank card, the card number is not actually stored on the device. Instead, a unique digital account number is assigned* to the card and the device the person is using.

“For customers, it’s an added layer of security,” Mr Nast said. “In fact, it can be more secure than your physical card as the number is assigned, encrypted* and safely stored within your device so that your details are never shown when making a payment using your phone.”

Electronic payment methods and digital banking have been steadily replacing cash for many years, but the shift has been accelerated* by the COVID-19 pandemic.

More people have been shopping online from home and many shops have shifted to contactless electronic payments rather than having to handle cash during the pandemic. 

Small business reopening after COVID-19 media_cameraThe coronavirus pandemic has accelerated the use of electronic payments, including digital wallets on smart devices like watches.

The Reserve Bank of Australia’s latest consumer payments survey shows cash has gone from being used in 69 per cent of transactions in 2007 to just 27 per cent last year.

Younger people are driving the shift, with a majority* of people aged 18-49 found to be “low cash users”, compared to 25 per cent of people aged 65 and older.

While cash is not expected to disappear any time soon, a new survey suggests most Australians would be happy to do without it.

The survey by Capterra, a company that compares different software, found 55 per cent of the 1020 people it questioned were comfortable with the idea of becoming a cashless society.

It also found 58 per cent had a digital wallet installed on their devices and 97 per cent were planning to use a digital wallet after the pandemic. 

media_cameraYounger people have been leading the shift to electronic payments, including digital wallets.


  • potentially: possibly
  • assigned: given
  • encrypted: made into a code for security
  • accelerated: made quicker
  • majority: most


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  1. Digital wallets can be installed on what devices?
  2. What has accelerated the use of digital payment methods?
  3. What percentage of payments were made with cash in 2007?
  4. What percentage of payments were made with cashing last year?
  5. What percentage of people had a digital wallet installed on their device, according to the Capterra survey?


1. Convince me!
The article says that younger people are “driving the shift”, which implies that older people may be less inclined to use a digital wallet. 

Can you help convince the older generation that using a digital wallet is ‘the way of the future’ and that there are many benefits to using one?

Create an advertisement to convince your audience to use a digital wallet for all their shopping needs. Your advertisement could be in any form you feel is appropriate for your audience. It could be a television ad, or a poster or pamphlet. You decide.

Use the article to help you identify and highlight how using a digital wallet has many advantages. Think security (safety) convenience, speed and any other aspects you can think of.

Time: allow 50 minutes to complete this activity
Curriculum Links: English, Mathematics, Critical and Creative thinking

2. Extension
The other side of the coin
55 per cent of those surveyed were comfortable with a cashless society. A cashless society would mean that there would be no more physical money used. No coins, no notes.

Can you make an argument for keeping cash as part of our society? What benefits does cash have over a digital wallet. Think of where you still see and use coins and notes. Do they still have a place in our lives?

Make a list of places and times when using ‘real money’ is important (either practically or sentimentally). For example:

  • learning about money at school
  • when the tooth fairy visits

Write a paragraph (or two) with your opinion of whether we should completely do away with ‘cash’ or if we should keep cash along side using digital wallets.

Time: allow 30 minutes to complete this activity
Curriculum Links: English, Mathematics, Critical and Creative thinking

Grammar and VCOP
The glossary of terms helps you to understand and learn the ambitious vocabulary being used in the article. Can you use the words outlined in the glossary to create new sentences? Challenge yourself to include other VCOP (vocabulary, connectives, openers and punctuation) elements in your sentence/s.

Have another look through the article, can you find any other Wow Words not outlined in the glossary?

HAVE YOUR SAY: Are you planning to get a part-time job one day? What would you like to do?
No one-word answers. Use full sentences to explain your thinking. No comments will be published until approved by editors.

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