A cashless community: Australian cities are ‘digital leaders’ in the banking world


Sydney and Canberra are two of the cities leading the way when it comes to digital banking, according to the Visa Cashless Cities report.

These cities were recognised as “digital leaders” thanks to the country’s advanced digital banking and payment systems, our high usage and readiness for online banking and the number of Aussies with an up to date banking set up.

The report analysed 100 cities in terms of their development with cashless payments and banking and found 18 cities across the US, Europe and Asia were ‘digitally advanced’, while cities in Africa and Latin American still had a way to go in terms of digital maturity.

RELATED: Meet Beem - The new instant payments app from the Commonwealth Bank, NAB and Westpac

Time, or our sworn lack of it, was a driving force when it came to the push for digital banking on an international scale. It was recorded that on average, bankers spent 6.4 hours a year withdrawing cash from an ATM, 7.3 hours visiting a bank and a massive 12 hours on paying bills in person.

And should digitally immature cities reach a reasonable cashless level, the report predicted that bankers would save 8 hours a year and a total of $12 billion in time-savings from things like banking transactions.

The report also said that potential crime reduction was a factor to consider, with an average of $5.8 billion lost per year across 100 cities due to cash-related crimes.

Aussie banking itself has come a long way, from cash to credit cards and with the surge in online banking, it’s safe to say that the wallet may no longer become the back pocket or purse essential.

With all the new ways to pay and bank, from Beem - an instant payment app available with CommBank, NAB and Westpac, to Westpac’s PayWear, where contactless payments begin with a flick of your wrist and chatbots like UBank’s RoboChat to give Aussies the assistance they need to manage their money.

And of course, if you’re not a tech fanatic, but are addicted to your smartphone, you still have the option of keeping it simple through regular online transfers and payments.

In fact, data from the Mobile Consumer Survey recently found that 30% of smartphone holders use the ‘fingerprint reader’ to approve payments/purchases, while 18% use their mobiles to authorise money transfers to people and organisations. So rest assured, we are well on our way to becoming a walletless tribe.

But while other cities across the world work to reach their cashless development goal, find out more about what other bank accounts can do for you in terms of innovation by having a browse of some popular bank accounts.

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