Aussies Young and Old Switching to Online Shopping Amid COVID-19 Pandemic
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Aussies Young and Old Switching to Online Shopping Amid COVID-19 Pandemic

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Press Release Bot

08/07/2020 • 5 minute read

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On this page:

  • PayPal customer sign-ups are triple pre-pandemic levels in Australia
  • 65% more ‘Silver Tech’ Australians (50 years +) sign up for PayPal during the pandemic
  • The move to online has resulted in a rise of opportunistic scammers and fraudsters
  • One in three people say they will continue to buy groceries online post-COVID-19

SYDNEY Australia, 1 June 2020: During the COVID-19 pandemic, as most businesses closed around the country and Australians were told to stay at home, e-commerce boomed. New information from PayPal Australia has shown that Aussies have quickly adopted online shopping over this period, with sign-ups to PayPal having almost tripled compared to pre-pandemic levels.

During the pandemic, PayPal Australia recorded the strongest monthly results in the company’s history, with the highest number of transactions and largest total value of payments ever processed in April. This leap in online shopping is set to having lasting impacts and has accelerated Australia’s shift to become a cashless society by up to 5 years.

This surge of new users included a 65% year-on-year increase in sign-ups among ‘silver tech’ Australians who are 50 or older. Now, over 8 million Australians have an active PayPal account, which is almost a third of the population. Australian small businesses have also benefited from this increase in users, as there has been a 54% rise in sales processed by small businesses on the PayPal platform during COVID-19 restrictions.

PayPal Australia’s resident Shopping Expert Danielle Grant said, “A lot of people and businesses have been hit hard by the pandemic and our thoughts go out to them. At PayPal we’re lucky to provide ecommerce services which have been vital during this time. It makes us proud that we’ve been able to help millions of Aussies get their essential items online quickly and safely during COVID-19. Although some may go back their old shopping habits post-pandemic, an increased use of e-commerce will be the new normal in Australia.”

A recent PayPal study found that one in three people who began online grocery shopping during the pandemic would continue to do so after restrictions are lifted. Additionally, PayPal research has shown a 66% lift in Australian consumer willingness to buy when PayPal is an available payment option at checkout.

However, increased numbers online during COVID-19 has resulted in a rise in fraudulent and scam activity. The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) recently revealed that the number of scams since the pandemic began is now over 2,000, resulting in $700,000 reported in losses.

Ms Grant said, “While Gen Z and Gen Y have traditionally driven the growing trend of online shopping, social distancing restrictions have meant many mature Australians have had to adapt and start shopping online for the first time. Sadly though, scammers around the world have used the pandemic as an opportunity to prey on people who may not be as familiar with online shopping. These scammers are using public panic and confusion to maximise the effectiveness of their attacks and many of them are very convincing. Fortunately, Australians are becoming increasingly wary of these cyber-attacks and are looking to trusted services like PayPal to help them navigate shopping safely online.”

What did Australians buy during lockdown?

The lockdown proved that even while socially distancing, Aussies by and large looked to stay entertained and improve their lives at home. PayPal has seen that Australians have stocked up on groceries, alcohol, meal delivery and subscription services. The research also found that online marketplaces experienced an increase in consumer demand, as well as food delivery platforms such as Mr. Yum and Uber Eats.

Meanwhile, online spending categories that have experienced the most significant impact include travel and airfares, tourism, and events and ticketing.

What can Australians do to make sure they don’t fall victim to a scam?

While enabling the digital economy in Australia, PayPal has also doubled down on its efforts to tackle opportunistic online criminals during the pandemic.  Common scams that have risen during the pandemic include charity scams, fake debt collection notices, bogus medical treatments, and superannuation scams.

“Scammers are always looking for the quickest way to their goal, they will follow the path of least resistance. While PayPal always aims to be step one ahead of the attackers, there are also a number of steps you can take to protect yourself from potential attacks,” said Ms. Grant.

Danielle Grant has put together some tips on how Australians can best avoid falling victim to online scams:

1.       Recognise ‘Impostors’: No government agency or bank will ever ask for your financial details via text or email, so make sure you’re speaking to the real organisation by using the details on their official web page.

2.       Avoid dangerous links: Many scams use embedded links which look valid but send you to a fake site.  If you are ever in any doubt – don’t click through on the link.  Again, contact the company the email claims to be from immediately through their official website.

3.       Don’t fall for a false sense of urgency: Most frauds say that an amazing deal is available… but only for a limited time, or they threaten that your account will be in jeopardy if you don’t take immediate action. Open your account through the official company website to see if the claim is true.

4.       Look for the lock: When shopping online, check to make sure the site is secure by checking that the web address begins with https:// and includes a padlock icon.

5.       Use a secure Payment Provider: These services provide an extra layer of safety. Instead of providing your credit card number to every website where you shop, you provide it only to the secure payment service. Some payment services like PayPal also offer Buyer Protection which lets you get a full refund on eligible purchases if something goes wrong.

For more information on the types of online scams that have risen during the COVID-19 pandemic, and how to recognise and avoid them, visit the PayPal Australia website.

Via Medianet

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Press Release Bot

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