New research from PayPal shows that two in five (38%) Australians are planning to shop the End of Financial Year (EOFY) sales, but not for traditional tax-deductible work expenses.

EOFY sales are viewed by many as an opportunity to stock up on discounted work-related items and maximise tax deductions. However, of those planning to seek out EOFY savings this year, most (51%) will be shopping for clothing or fashion, followed by electronics (31%), homewares and garden items (26%), and health and beauty products. Only 12% will shop for tax deductibles.

The fact that two in five (42%) will shop the EOFY sales online rather than in store this year may be a sign of the economic times, as the same proportion (40%) say it’s easier to compare prices online and that they usually get better deals.

Despite the preference for digital discounts, almost all Australians (93%) are concerned about online security with fake retail sites now leveraging generative AI to be more convincing than ever. In addition, 85% of Australians say scams are becoming more sophisticated and harder to recognise, and two-in-five (40%) are more concerned about online security than they were a year ago.

The research shows this concern has led to awareness, with 84% feeling confident about their understanding of online security and how to protect themselves against scams. Almost all (99%) are familiar with some key online safety techniques, including led by using complex passwords (87%), diversifying passwords (76%), and avoiding links in text messages (76%). Four-in-five (84%) are more likely to pay for an item online if there is a secure payment option like PayPal.