Aussies become increasingly reliant on credit and debit cards

Aussies are becoming more reliant on their credit and debit cards in order to pay for goods, a new study has indicated.

The Bankwest Cash Report for January 2012 has shown that the number of cashless transactions grew by eight per cent in the 12 months from November 2010. This has resulted in non-cash payments increasing by 45 per cent in the past five years.

Over the past year, 7.1 billion retail transactions were made using plastic, which equated to 311 per person.

Business chief executive at Bankwest Ian Corfield said that although cash is still king, the trend away from paper-based money is gathering pace.

"Debit cards are the favourite method of non-cash payment for smaller transactions,
and over the past year have seen the fastest growth of any transaction type," he remarked.

Recent figures released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics suggested that levels of credit card debt have now surpassed the $50 billion mark.

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