Australian generational banking report

Illustration of a woman talking to a banker

83% of Australian adults prefer in-person banking experiences

Commissioned by UserTesting and conducted by OnePoll, the study also revealed that when it comes to finances and banking, people across all generations prefer a human touch—83% of Australians said they prefer using a traditional bank for their financial needs.

A fifth said they strictly use traditional banks, ditching digital-only completely— including 29% of baby boomers and 27% of the silent generation. In comparison, only 14% overall said they rather use a digital bank with no physical presence, and 62% said they use both traditional and digital banks.

People who prefer traditional banks said they like speaking with a human (44%), and 39% like having a physical place to go. 

“We’re seeing a strange dichotomy in banking unfolding in front of us,” said Dana Bishop, VP of Experience Research Strategy at UserTesting. “We know physical banking branches are closing in droves, yet the data here support that consumers, especially in younger generations, crave the benefits that traditional banks provide. Digital banking platforms should consider this when implementing new services to meet these more human-oriented banking needs.”

While many said they prefer traditional banks, 45% said they still trust digital wallets and mobile banking apps – most popular amongst younger generations (53% of Gen Z and 52% of millennials) and least popular for baby boomers (36%).

Only three in 10 prefer to conduct a money transfer as the most popular way of sending money back and forth, and 72% transfer money up to four times per month. Only 21% admitted they’re more likely to spend frivolously using digital payment options.

73% of Australian digital bank users wished their banks offered some of the perks traditional banks already have—31% of them wish digital banks offered the ability to talk to humans for customer support, and 26% wish their banks had physical ATMs or waived ATM fees.

Out of all the respondents surveyed, the silent generation prefers to talk to humans the most (60%), compared to the baby boomers (46%) and millennials (42%), with Gen Z being the least interested in speaking with humans (29%).

“In reality, there’s still an open space for hybrid institutions to exist,” continued Bishop. “Both digital and traditional banking platforms have their exclusive benefits, but there is a clear want and need for institutions to exist in both physical and digital worlds, providing the shared perks either can offer.”

Hear first-hand what participants had to say.

Top 3 monthly budget spends per generation

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Gen Z

  1. Groceries: 49%
  2. Rent or mortgage: 35%
  3. Entertainment: 25%

3 business professionals looking at a computer


  1. Rent or mortgage: 55%
  2. Groceries: 58%
  3. Utilities: 41%

3 business professionals looking at a laptop

Gen X

  1. Groceries: 65%
  2. Rent or mortgage: 59%
  3. Utilities: 41%

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Baby Boomer

  1. Groceries: 73%
  2. Utilities: 44%
  3. Rent or mortgage: 31%

Image of a woman showing another woman something on a tablet

Silent gen

  1. Groceries: 77%
  2. Utilities: 47%
  3. Rent or mortgage: 21%

A poll of 1,000 Australian adults found that 64% said their grocery costs are eating up most of their monthly budget, followed by rent/mortgage (41%) and utility bills (38%).

Australian residents are spending the most on groceries

Costs for food and non-alcoholic beverages for Australians increased by 9.4% from Nov. 2021 through Nov. 2022, according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics. In that same article, referring to 2023, it stated, “While food prices are not expected to soar, prices overall are not expected to fall.” This survey highlights that for the older generations across Australia, 77% of the silent generation, 73% of baby boomers, and 65% of Gen X still account for groceries as the highest expenditure in their respective budgets. 

Meanwhile, 59% of millennials claim rent/mortgage as their highest budgetary item, and 59% of Gen X state rent or mortgage as their second highest budgetary expense. Gen Z, however, follows in the footsteps of their senior counterparts, with 49% identifying groceries as their highest budget expense.

Survey methodology

UserTesting commissioned this random double-opt-in survey of 1,000 Australian adults with bank accounts between March 3 and April 3, 2023. It was conducted by market research company OnePoll, whose team members are members of the Market Research Society and have corporate membership to the American Association for Public Opinion Research (AAPOR) and the European Society for Opinion and Marketing Research (ESOMAR).