MyState Bank has reported close to a 30% decrease in cash withdrawals this month alone, while BPAY payments and transactions made via the New Payments Platform have gone up by a significant 20%.
Managing director and chief executive Melos Sulicich interpreted the data collected by MyState as a sign that Australians are taking advice from the government and health experts seriously, and so are avoiding cash where possible to slow the spread of COVID-19.
“Social distancing and other preventative health measures means many Australians may not be able to undertake their banking or normal day-to-day activities in the usual way,” he said. “Many retail establishments are only accepting payment via debit and credit cards.”
Could COVID-19 signal the end of cash?
While it’s no secret that cash has been in steady decline for the past ten years, there is some speculation that COVID-19 could play a major part in speeding up the decrease in cash use.
According to the Australian Payments Network, ATM withdrawals dropped by 20% between 2015 and 2019. To add to that, the Reserve Bank’s 2016 Consumer Payments Survey revealed that, at that time cash only accounted for 37% of payments, in comparison to 69% back in 2007.
This decline in cash use isn’t just in Australia either. Last week GlobalData reported that the global pandemic will most likely see an increased decline in the use of cash in Japan, as both consumers and merchants try to stop the spread of the virus via coins, notes and POS terminals.
New registrations for internet and mobile banking also up
As well as noting an increase in cashless payments, MyState Bank’s data also showed a 55% increase on the twelve-month average for new customers signing up for internet and mobile banking services.
Sulicich suggested those who have more knowledge when it comes to online banking might want to lend a helping hand to any friends, family members or neighbours who may be struggling at this time to get their heads around cashless payments.
Want to learn more about online banking? Why not check out our guide on online accounts and if all this talk of opening an account has you thinking about switching, head to Mozo’s compare bank accounts page to see what options there are to choose from.
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