Passport to Smarter Spending research results

HSBC study on Australian spending trends

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HSBC launched its Passport to Smarter Spending research this week. The study focused on travel trends of Australians and involved a survey of 1,000 people. The predominant trends are that Australian travellers are methodical and cautious rather than impulsive.

Safety of valuables is seen as a priority by Australians. According to the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, one of the most common requests for consular assistance for overseas Australians is from people who are victims of robbery or theft or who have lost valuables, money or passports.

In 2017, Australians made about 10.5 million trips overseas, almost 7% more than the previous year. According to the survey, 94% of respondents changed their spending habits while travelling. Furthermore, 91% had chosen to withdraw the local currency in advance and keep it on their person. Almost half (49%) of respondents have been charged a transactional fee overseas in the last 12 months. Roughly the same percentage admitted to not keeping track of bank exchange rates.

The research also indicated that Australians like comfort, with 81% preferring hotels over rental accommodation. A significant 67% prefer a detailed, pre-booked itinerary over organising on the go. Over half (54%) prefer to travel with someone who has done thorough research before travelling. However, 56% would choose to wander aimlessly rather than go on guided tours.

Interestingly, 59% would choose to see multiple destinations in a week while 41% would rather spend a week in one place. It would seem Australians like travelling in summer, with 62% choosing great weather over no crowds.

Some of the more surprising results were that only 4% rated catching public transport as the top travel advice they have received. The more popular advice was to learn a few basic phrases in the local language and travel in the off season. Also, 59% would prefer to get invited to a local celebration rather than eat in a five-star restaurant. Similarly, 57% would prefer to spend a night out with locals rather than with other travellers.

Barnaby Jenkins, Head of Transactional Banking Products at HSBC, said, “Australians want to immerse themselves wherever they travel, however, in reality, they’re much more considered and comfort-seeking, meticulously planning their activities well in advance in order to make the most of their holiday.

“They’re looking for smart ways to spend and save, but unfortunately this careful planning doesn’t extend to their finances, with many unaware of the international transaction and foreign exchange fees that could be stacking up.”

To view the full report, click here – HSBC_The Insider’s Guide_Passport to Smarter Spending

The second phase of the survey, investigating Australian online spending, will be released early next year.

In March, HSBC launched its Everyday Global Account. This account uses a Visa Debit Card that connects to accounts in different currencies, including AUD, GBP, EUR, USD and other. The account can be used at the point of sale, online or for regular billing payments, making it suitable for everyday banking. The fee-free ATM withdrawals (except for some ATM usage fees) and purchases overseas (also without fees) make it suitable for global banking as well.

“Our HSBC Everyday Global Account enables customers to pay like a local at home and overseas, with ten currencies available and no ATM and transaction fees,” Mr Jenkins said.

The account has fraud protections and is compatible with Apple Pay, Google Pay and PayWave.

For more information on HSBC’s Passport to Smarter Spending and Everyday Global Account, see

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