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Fantastic plastic, Aussies leaving cash behind

Fantastic plastic, Aussies leaving cash behind

If fishing through your wallet for notes and coins drives you up the wall, you’re not alone. According to a new report, one in four Aussies would be happy to live in a cashless society.

An international ING survey of mobile banking customers across Australia, Europe and the USA found that throughout these countries, cash was declining in popularity, while use of cashless payment options, including debit and credit cards, as well as mobile payments, was on the way up.

The survey’s key findings from Australian participants include:

  • 24% of Australians would go completely cashless if given the choice
  • More than half (53%) use cash much less than they did 12 months ago
  • 27% don’t usually carry cash
  • 27% would be comfortable getting by without cash ‘forever’
  • 43% are confident they could manage without cash for one month
  • 86% still favour cash for smaller purchases under $15
  • 79% don’t believe they will ever go completely cashless
  • 53% still carry up to $60 of cash in their wallet
  • 76% of people used cash in the last three days

ING Direct Executive Director, Customers, John Arnott, credits this swing away from cash payments to technology changing our lifestyles:

“Australia got its first ATM only 40 years ago, and in a relatively short space of time we’ve been given so much more choice in how and when we make payments.”

“We’re seeing our customers increasingly favour payment methods that don’t involve a traditional wallet, but rather a smartphone. Cash used to be king, and while there is still clear demand for notes and coins, its crown is slipping as technology makes payments increasingly easy, secure and convenient.”

But Australia isn’t the only region moving away from cash. Both Europe and the USA were shown by the survey to be embracing the concept of a cashless society.

In Europe…

  • One in three (34%) were willing to go completely cashless
  • One in five (21%) rarely use cash now
  • 1% hadn’t needed cash for at least a year

In the USA…

  • One in three (38%) were willing to go completely cashless
  • One in three (34% rarely use cash now
  • 3% hadn’t needed cash for at least a year

It remains to be seen whether Australia, Europe and the USA will continue making steps towards a cashless society in the coming years, or whether cold, hard cash will experience a renaissance some day.

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