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A cashless society could be closer than we think

  • August 04 2020
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A cashless society could be closer than we think

By Grace Ormsby
August 04 2020

If Australia was to go completely cashless tomorrow, more than half of Australians would be comfortable with the idea, new research has revealed.

A cashless society could be closer than we think

A cashless society could be closer than we think

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  • August 04 2020
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If Australia was to go completely cashless tomorrow, more than half of Australians would be comfortable with the idea, new research has revealed.

A cashless society could be closer than we think

Software comparison platform Capterra has investigated how COVID-19 has impacted on Australia’s use of cash, and whether or not it has increased Australia’s readiness towards becoming a cashless society.

According to the analysis, 55 per cent of Australians are comfortable with the idea of a completely cashless society.

A slightly higher proportion of Australians do already have a mobile wallet installed on their phone or smart device – at 58 per cent – but an overwhelming majority (97 per cent) actually plan to use mobile wallets post-COVID-19.

The shift has been predominantly driven by health reasons – which have been cited as the single biggest driver for using mobile wallets in 2020 – with one-third (33 per cent) of respondents preferring to avoid handling money or using a chip and pin terminal.

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According to Capterra content analyst Anna Hammond, “Social distancing measures have certainly driven consumers and businesses closer towards a more cashless future in Australia. As stores, restaurants, bars and cafes began to reopen their doors, we saw them take steps towards creating safer environments for their customers.”

But it’s not an even spread, with Capterra discovering that lower-income Australians are less likely to use mobile payments, despite a number of retailers now refusing cash to try and protect the risk of spreading the virus.

“Many demographics – particularly older generations and lower earners – require more time to adapt to the concept of a completely cashless society,” Ms Hammond commented.  

Despite the move towards cashless transactions, 20 per cent of respondents did concede they will always feel the need to carry around cash, no matter how many stores do offer digital payment alternatives.

Even for mobile wallet users, concerns were still flagged as to their use – with 57 per cent of Australians still holding underlying concerns around the security of such services, whether that relates to their data being stolen or their phone being hacked.

Other commonly held concerns about a move towards a cashless society and the increased use of mobile wallets include: not wanting to get caught out by businesses that only accept cash payment (39 per cent), preferring to pay for small amounts using cash (28 per cent), and not wanting to give their spending data to companies (16 per cent).  

A cashless society could be closer than we think
A cashless society could be closer than we think
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About the author

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Grace is a journalist on Momentum Media's nestegg. She enjoys being able to provide easy to digest information and practical tips for Australians with regard to their wealth, as well as having a platform on which to engage leading experts and commentators and leverage their insight.

About the author

Grace is a journalist on Momentum Media's nestegg. She enjoys being able to provide easy to digest information and practical tips for Australians with regard to their wealth, as well as having a platform on which to engage leading experts and commentators and leverage their insight.

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