Could you go cashless by 2022? ME found that many Australians would be happy to

woman-paying-with-smartphone

More than one in three Australians (35%) would ‘happily’ say goodbye to using coins and notes in as little as a year, new research from ME has found.

That was the major takeaway from a survey of 1,000 people recently conducted by the bank which delved into the attitudes held towards the idea of ‘cashlesness’. 

Perhaps unsurprisingly, younger Australians were found to be the most open to a life without cash, with ME revealing that nearly half (45%) of survey respondents aged between 25-39 were ‘responsive’ to cashless economy followed by 40% of those aged 18-24. 

“It’s no shock that Australians, particularly the younger generations, are using less cash, but it’s surprising that one third would be willing to make the change as soon as next year,” said ME’s head of home loans and personal banking, Claudio Mazzarella. 

“A trend likely accelerated by the COVID-19 pandemic, over one third of Australians now only use cash ‘from time to time’ and ‘on the odd occasion’ respectively. And it seems the decline in cash will only continue, with digital convenience clearly king when it comes to payment methods for Australians.”

According to research from the Reserve Bank, Australia’s use of cash compared to other forms of payment has declined significantly in the last 15 years. 

In 2007 cash accounted for 69% of all payments, but that figure fell to just 27% in 2019 - the latest year that the RBA has figures for. And COVID-19 has likely pushed that figure even lower, with recent evidence suggesting that cash use in everyday transactions has fallen during the past year. 

A matter of convenience

So are there any reasons behind this reduction in cash use? As part of ME’s research, the bank asked survey participants what their top reasons were for not carrying cash. 

It turns out the major factor for many was one of convenience, as 50% reported that they found having to go to an ATM to withdraw cash inconvenient while 22% said that they didn’t like having to carry around a wallet. 

And, perhaps a further indicator of the ongoing legacy of the pandemic, 17% of respondents said that they didn’t carry cash because it is unhygienic.

While cash use has been decreasing, ME found that physical debit cards and credit cards are still very much a part of the mix, as they were the preferred payment method for 63% of people.

Digital wallets (like Apple, Google or Samsung Pay) were favoured by just 12% of respondents - a figure which surprised Mazzarella.  

“It seems the use of less traditional payment methods such as digital wallets and Buy Now Pay Later apps still have a way to go in terms of adoption by most consumers as a preferred way to pay for goods and services,” he said. 

“We expect to see this number grow significantly over the next few years as an increasing number of banks, including ME, finalise their digital wallet capabilities.” 

According to the latest figures from the Mozo database, a majority of the 140 personal bank accounts being tracked are now compatible with at least one of the three major digital wallets. Here’s the current breakdown:

Digital wallet% of bank accounts offering
Apple Pay82% (115 of 140)
Google Pay74% (103 of 140)
Samsung Pay52% (73 of 140)

However, ME also found that there were certain situations in which people would miss cash if it went away altogether, namely when giving it as a present or using it as a tool to teach children about money and finance.

RELATED: Mozo Piggy Bank Report 2021: Our kids and pocket money

Looking for a new place to manage your money that also comes equipped with the latest payment options? Check out some of the great debit cards and transaction accounts in the table below, or head on over to the Mozo bank account hub to compare almost 100 accounts from a variety of banks.

Debit card comparison - rates updated daily

Search promoted debit cards below or do a full Mozo database search. Advertiser disclosure.
  • placeholder
    Go Account

    account fee
    Payment Options
    what kind of card
    $0.00
    Apple Pay, Google Pay, Samsung Pay
    Visa Debit

    Enjoy earning Virgin Money points on purchases (conditions apply). Bundled with the Virgin Money Boost Saver. No Account fees. Available as a joint account.

    Go to site
    Details
  • placeholder
    Glide Account

    account fee
    Payment Options
    what kind of card
    $0.00
    Apple Pay, Google Pay, PayID, Samsung Pay, FitBit Pay, Garmin
    Visa Debit

    Unlimited free internet transactions. Super fast transfers & use Apple Pay, Google Pay and Samsung Pay. No account keeping fees or ATM fees.

    Go to site
    Details
  • placeholder
    Everyday Options

    account fee
    Payment Options
    what kind of card
    $0.00
    Apple Pay, Google Pay, PayID
    Visa Debit

    An easy, everyday banking account packed with flexible options to help you spend, budget and save better. Create up to 9 sub accounts.

    Go to site
    Details
  • placeholder
    Global Currency Account

    account fee
    Payment Options
    what kind of card
    $0.00
    PayID, Samsung Pay
    Debit Mastercard

    Send and receive foreign currency with no Citi transfer fees. Consolidate your international bank accounts with account details for up to 10 currencies. Winner of Mozo Experts Choice Exceptional Everyday Account 2020 award^.

    Go to site
    Details
  • placeholder
    Everyday Snap Account

    account fee
    Payment Options
    what kind of card
    $0.00
    Apple Pay, Google Pay, PayID, Samsung Pay
    Visa Debit or
    EFTPOS

    Enjoy $0 monthly account fees and unlimited fee-free card, phone and online transactions. Tap and pay with Google Pay, Apple Pay or Samsung Pay. Refund of overdrawn fees and international ATM withdrawal fees and international card transaction fees^.

    Go to site
    Details
  • placeholder
    Everyday Global Account

    account fee
    Payment Options
    what kind of card
    $0.00
    Apple Pay, Google Pay, PayID
    Visa Debit

    No overseas ATM fees & up to 10 currencies in one account. Switch between currencies instantly 24/7 wherever you are using the mobile app.$100 Bonus for new HSBC customers and earn 2% cashback on tap and pay under $100 (T&Cs apply). Mozo's Experts Choice 2021 winner for Exceptional Everyday Account.

    Go to site
    Details

Mozo provides general product information. We don't consider your personal objectives, financial situation or needs and we aren't recommending any specific product to you. You should make your own decision after reading the PDS or offer documentation, or seeking independent advice.

While we pride ourselves on covering a wide range of products, we don't cover every product in the market. If you decide to apply for a product through our website, you will be dealing directly with the provider of that product and not with Mozo.