Australia on the Road to Becoming a Cashless Society : The Statistics and Trends

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Australia has been at the forefront of the move towards a cashless society for several years. According to a report by the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA), the use of cash as a payment method in Australia has been steadily declining since the early 2000s. In 2016, cash accounted for just over 20% of all transactions, down from nearly 60% in 2007. This trend is expected to continue as more and more Australians adopt digital payment methods.

There are several factors contributing to the shift towards a cashless society in Australia. One of the main drivers is the increasing availability and use of electronic payment systems, such as debit and credit cards, mobile payment apps, and digital wallets. These technologies offer convenient and secure alternatives to cash, making it easier for consumers to make purchases and pay bills without the need for physical currency.

Another factor is the growing adoption of contactless payment systems, which allow consumers to make payments by simply tapping their card or mobile device on a terminal. These systems are popular because they are fast, easy to use, and do not require the use of a PIN or signature. According to the RBA, the number of contactless payment transactions in Australia more than tripled between 2015 and 2018.

The government is also playing a role in the move towards a cashless society by encouraging the use of electronic payments. In 2018, the Australian government introduced a policy requiring merchants to accept electronic payments for transactions over $100, in an effort to reduce the use of cash. This policy has contributed to the decline in the use of cash, as more and more merchants are now accepting electronic payments.

Moreover, it is likely that the use of cash in Australia will continue to decline as more and more consumers adopt digital payment methods. According to a report by the National Australia Bank, the number of cash transactions in Australia is expected to drop to just 5% by 2030. This projection is based on the continued adoption of electronic payment systems, as well as the increasing number of merchants accepting digital payments.

Overall, the shift towards a cashless society in Australia is expected to bring a number of benefits, including increased convenience and security for consumers, reduced costs for merchants, and improved efficiency for the economy as a whole. However, it is important to ensure that the transition to a cashless society is inclusive and does not leave certain groups behind. This may involve providing education and support for those who are less financially literate or have limited access to electronic payment systems.