Australia to be cashless society by 2022, says study

By @diplomatist10 on
MasterCard and VISA credit cards
MasterCard and VISA credit cards are seen in this illustrative photograph taken in Hong Kong December 8, 2010. Reuters/Bobby Yip

A recent study has speculated that Australians will turn cash-free in their transactions by June 2022, much earlier than the predicted time line of October 2027, thanks to the surge in smart phone payment technology.

The study, conducted by Westpac said 33 percent of Australian smart phone users’ have their lives made easier by apps that manage their finances. Long wait times for food and drinks breed the biggest frustration for 61 percent people, while 51 percent of Australians feel frustrated when customers in front of them grab their time, the study noted.

Westpac’s Head of Consumer Deposits, Elliot Smith, said, “Technological innovation and cashless options make customers’ lives easier." He said digital offerings such as Cardless Cash, Fingerprint login and tap and pay along with investing in innovative start-up companies that offer smart solutions to everyday problems are part of its service focus.

Reduce waiting time

According to Smith, as consumers shift their behavior, the very idea of what constitutes banking services will also change. Noting that long wait times are one of the biggest frustrations for Australians as people are increasingly time poor and expect items on demand, he said investing in companies like Hey You makes sense, as they not only reduce the amount of time spent in queues, but also brings a fresh and dynamic approach to cashless payments.

“As we become a cashless society, four in five (81 percent) Australian smartphone users agree to pre-order an item using an app before picking it up,” Smith said.

Denmark Initiative

Globally, Denmark has the glory of being the world’s first cashless nation, with its government persuading stores, restaurants and petrol stations against accepting cash payments. The government is hoping to go completely cashless by 2016.

One third of all Danish citizens prefer to use Danske Bank’s official app, MobilePay, to pay for services and transactions. The Danish Chamber of Commerce also supports the move and wanted shops to be given the option of going cash-free.

 “Society has changed so much that there is no longer a need for requirements on cash payments,” spokesman Henrik Hytolft told broadcaster DR. According to financial institution lobbyist Finansraadet, going cashless will save retailers the money spent on security in addition to saving the time on counting the money at the end of a business day.

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