COVID-19 hastens the death of cash

More than half of the experts (56 per cent) participating in the latest Finder RBA Cash Rate Survey believed that Australia would become fully cashless within the next 10 years. And most said COVID-19 was accelerating this eventuality.

Indeed, Finder’s analysis of data from the Reserve Bank of Australia shows that the number of ATM withdrawals has fallen by 65 per cent since its peak in December 2008.

Graham Cooke, head of consumer research at Finder, says the lifespan for paper money is shortening.

“Finder predicted a cashless society in Australia by 2036 a few years back and now even that timeline may be too far away.

“The latest data shows that July 2021 had by far the lowest number of withdrawals of any July on record.

“Cash has already been pushed to the edges of our economy, and cash-only businesses are few and far between. Expect them to get even rarer.”

Another Finder survey of 1,015 Australians found that 40 per cent are using less cash than this time last year.

The research also found that out of 10 in-person transactions, more than half make one or fewer with cash. Indeed, 23 per cent make zero cash transactions.

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