Cash you later

Aussies are ditching physical currency.

If you’re still paying for your groceries with cash, you’re part of a dying breed according to a recent survey from Finder.

The survey revealed 23% of Australians, equivalent to 4.4 million people, no longer carry cash at all.

Finder Personal Finance Expert Kate Browne said as Australia increasingly become a cashless society, the need for wallets may soon be non-existent.

"Cards are the new cash; with tap and pay accepted almost everywhere these days, physical currency is no longer necessary,” Ms Browne said.

Australia is ranked seventh on the Forex Bonuses list of most cashless countries, behind Canada, Sweden, UK, France, USA and China.

"Between digital wallets on smartphones and loyalty card apps, there's increasingly no need for a wallet,” Ms Browne said.

“Eventually we'll be able to pay for everything with a smart device.”

Some people remain committed to carrying cash, with the research revealing the average Australian holds $59.40 in their wallet.

Around 21% have between $1 and $10, while 9% carry between $11 and $20.

Millennials are twice as likely (24%) as baby boomers (11%) to have no cash on them, while men generally carry twice as much as women. 

Reserve Bank of Australia data shows ATM withdrawals are also declining nationwide, falling from 51.5 million in July 2017 to 45.7 million in July 2019.

Ms Browne said that although the amount of cash Aussies are carrying has dropped, many people still like to have a few coins or notes handy.

"At this stage, there are still situations where spare change doesn't go astray,” she said.

“We might want to grab a sausage sizzle on the weekend or buy something from a cash-only business.”

How to ditch cash

  1. Ensure your bank and smartphone are compatible. Many banks offer debit and credit cards that are compatible with digital wallets such as Apple Pay, Samsung Pay and Google Pay.
  2. Install a digital wallet app. Once you have the right card and phone, download a digital wallet app, follow the prompts and connect your card.
  3. Store your loyalty cards digitally. Apps like Stocard and Key Ring allow users to add their loyalty cards and keep them all in one place. 
  4. Connect to wearables. If you have a smartwatch you may be able to connect your wearable device so you can make payments directly from your watch.

The information in this article has been prepared for general information purposes only and not as specific advice to any particular person. Any advice contained in the document is general advice and does not take into account any person’s particular investment objectives, financial situation or needs. Before acting on anything based on this advice you should consider its appropriateness to you, having regard to your objectives, financial situations and needs.