10/3/13. 86% of Aussies Don’t Pay in Cash. Vittorio Hernandez, au.ibtimes.com
“Eighty-six per cent of consumer payments by Australians are done in other ways except cash, indicating how far ahead the country is in terms of becoming a cashless society.
When compared to other nations, Australia is in sixth place in the list of nearly cashless countries, and the leader in the Asia-Pacific region. The Land Down Under is even ahead of the U.S. and China in the shift, with only 15 per cent of transactions done through cash, while it is still 45 per cent in China and 20 per cent in the U.S.
The report is based on 33 nations covered in the survey, which found Egypt to be on the bottom of the list.The topnotcher nations are Belgium, France, Canada, Germany and Sweden. Australia is sixth on the list because 99 per cent of Aussies age 15 years old and above own bank accounts.
Eddie Grobler, president of MasterCard Australasia Division, said the study shows that Aussies are eager to adopt new technology and give themselves the freedom of inconvenience paying in cash.
“Australian consumers are savvy as they know that cashless payments are more convenient and safer than withdrawing and carrying cash, the numbers speak for themselves. We’re in an exciting position where a cashless future is a genuine possibility for Australia. Through the advancement of contactless payment options like PayPass and digital wallet technology, we’re getting even close to realizing it,” Mr Grobler said in a statement.
Although payments made in cash now comprise less than 15 per cent of Aussie consumer transactions, it however still makes up 70 per cent of total number of transactions.
“Consumers are becoming more and more comfortable making transactions using their cards in-store and online. The challenge now is educating Australians that small purchases like heading down the road to grab a coffee and a paper can be made with greater convenience by leaving the cash at home,” he added.
The study came at a time that other cashless option providers are also aiming for a share of the consumer pie such as electronic payments system provider eftpos which is about to roll out the centralization of its payment processing system. The move aims to refresh its core network and launch new domestic products to compete against card issuers such as MasterCard and Visa.
Eftpos recently signed an agreement with U.S. tech firm FIS to build the new hub that could process millions of transactions daily and develop eftpos’s contactless online and mobile payments schemes.
The hub would replace the current network of complex bilateral connections between financial institutions and merchants which has been in use since the first eftpos cards were introduced in the market in the 1980s, said eftpos Managing Director Bruce Mansfield.
Eftpos accounts for about 80 per cent of all debit transactions that are sent to the customer’s bank for processing. With the new system, eftpos will take payments directly and will redistribute them to the respective financial institutions later.
Some groups, however, equate going cashless with the Biblical mark of the beast.”