Appetite ripens for eating out
THE nation’s addiction to fast food and wining and dining in restaurants is costing a small fortune as Australians splash more cash than ever on eating out.
New analysis of Commonwealth Bank transaction data has revealed the banks’ customers are spending more than
$640 million per month on eating out, and with Christmas just six weeks away, customers are being warned to watch their spending.
At restaurants, diners are splurging about $140 per month each – up 6 per cent in two years – and appetites for fast food are also on the rise, with consumers spending about $90 per month – an increase of 20 per cent.
For those tucking into fast food, about 72 per cent of transactions are on debit cards, whereas for those dining in restaurants payments are split – only about 55 per cent of transactions are on debit cards and the rest pay by credit.
But with the nation’s credit card debt resting at a whopping $51.3 billion and about $31.4 billion of that accruing interest, CBA’s executive general manager of digital Pete Steel warned consumers to think carefully about how they paid when not eating at home.
“The RBA said about 85 per cent of all transactions are noncash now, so we think as money is getting invisible it’s a lot easier to spend,’’ he said.
Mr Steel said transaction notifications and alerts on the bank’s app could help customers monitor their spending and they could also use the app’s Spend Tracker capability.
This differentiates where and what customers are spending on in categories including eating out, entertainment, bills and shopping.
Rising Tide financial services’ managing director Chris Browne said “tap and go” payments and paying by card had made Australians “more impulsive with spending.”
“They are not taking cash out of their wallet and paying for their takeaway, they are rushing out their card and they are done,’’ he said.