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Australian consumers giving up on cash - APCA

06 August 2014  |  6844 views  |  0 Australian Flag

New research from the Australian Payments Clearing Association, shows that as with cheques, Australian consumers are increasingly giving up cash in favour of cards, mobiles and online transactions.

The Milestones Report, drawn from Apca-commissioned research developed by RFi Consulting, shows that Australians are using less cash as the uptake of contactless and other electronic payments continues to gain pace.

The number of cash payments has drop five percent since 2005 - down to an estimated 11.7 billion in 2013, says Apca. This decline is predicted to accelerate, dropping a further 20% over the next few years before it plateaus in 2018.

The RFi study also shows that the share of cash within all of the payment transactions made in Australia has fallen from 73% in 2005 to 59% in 2013, with a further share decline forecast to 43% in 2018.

The dip is supported by recent figures released by the Reserve Bank of Australia. In February 2014 there were 57.3 million cash withdrawals from ATMs - down from 60 million in February 2013. The value of these withdrawals dropped nine percent to $10.8 billion.

As the economy grows, cash needs will decline as digital methods dominate new activity says Apca CEO Chris Hamilton.

"We will always have a need for cash, but the take-out here is that cash won't be the first or only choice for making any payment, regardless of what it's for. Australians love their 'tap and go' cards, and we are going to see lots of competition and innovation in mobile payments in the next few years," he says. "Consumers are going to find that cash is not their first choice any more, even for convenience items like a coffee . Increasingly, they may also find that automated, super-convenient consumer services will accept a wide range of digital payments - but not cash. "

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