A Cashless Australia by 2025?

The rise of electronic currency will lead to the phasing out of physical cash in Australia within the next decade, if predictions by a professor from the Australian National University are to be believed.

“It’s quite clear that the central bank in Australia is going to have to issue electronic cash,” said Professor Rabee Tourky, Director of the Australian National University Research School of Economics.

“In 10 years’ time there won’t be any paper cash. The big question is what’s going to replace it in Australia? Will it be Bitcoin? I don’t think so. More likely it will be ‘AusBit’, an Australian government issued digital cash.”

Already moving towards a cashless system in Australia is the property market. Property Exchange Australia is in the process of rolling out a national real-time electronic property settlement system.

This initiative, backed by the big banks and four states, could lead to the eventual removal of cheques as a payment method for property transactions.

Chief Executive of Property Exchange Australia, Marcus Price, told the Sydney Morning Herald the system has processed 14,000 transactions so far and predicts 85% of all property sales will be completed electronically by 2019.

Statistics by the Reserve Bank of Australia in June 2014 showed that between 2010 and 2013 the use of cash had fallen from 62% to 47% over that period as more people turned towards electronic transactions such as credit and debit cards.

It is difficult to predict what this new era of digital money will mean for the future of bank accounts, the saving habits of the average Australian and whether cash really is a thing of the past? However, one thing will never change -it always pays to be financially savvy and shop around for the best bank account deals.