Business stories of interest this week

Business stories from the past week, compiled by Jason Maywald:

1. Australians increasingly using their phone as a credit card

The pressure is on Australian banks to keep up with customer’s growing use of smartphone apps to pay for in-store and online purchases.

A Deloitte survey has found the use of mobile payment solutions has grown 14 per cent over the past year, with over a quarter of respondents now using them.


2. Bunnings finally launches online 

Bunnings Warehouse has finally joined the online revolution — but there’s a catch.

From 2018, DIY devotees will be able to purchase items from Bunnings’ special orders range online.

There are currently more than 20,000 items in the special orders range, including products such as playgrounds and taps.

At the moment, these products aren’t available in-store but can be ordered in to your local branch. From next year, customers can order the items online instead of visiting a store in person — although products from the store’s regular range won’t be included in the online offering.


3. Aussies pump $200m plus into Black Friday sales

Australians rose early to embrace the Black Friday shopping event, hitting their smartphones hard to spend more than $200 million, particularly on fashion and holidays.

Even with the distraction of intense speculation about the local launch of Amazon, Australian Black Friday sales volume was were up 16 per cent on last year, according to CupoNation data provided to Fairfax Media


4. Woollies to open new ‘dark’ stores

WOOLWORTHS will open as many as four new so-called “dark stores” — which are closed to customers and are used solely to pack and ship online orders — as the supermarket giant prepares to battle Amazon.

Chairman Gordon Cairns told the company’s annual general meeting on Thursday the stores would be open by the end of next year.


5. ANZ tech chief heralds its Apple advantage

Australia and New Zealand Banking Group’s top technology executive has claimed its decision to move ahead of its big four rivals with Apple Pay has led to big advantages in both customer and skilled staff acquisition as it seeks to position itself as a bank that operates like a tech giant.

Speaking with The Australian Financial Review after addressing a Trans Tasman Business Circle lunch event in Sydney on Friday, ANZ’s group technology executive Gerard Florian said he was surprised that no other of the big four banks had sacrificed a slice of payment revenue to sign on with Apple Pay, and that ANZ was delighted it took the plunge back in April 2016.