Cashless world for the young
But older Aussies prefer notes, coins
YOUNG Australians are ditching cash in favour of paying with cards.
And tap-and-go technology is increasingly being used instead of dollars and cents — even for purchases less than $5.
A National Australia Bank consumer insight report has found, on average, Aussies have $76 cash in their purses or wallets in a typical week.
Older men carried the most, at $99 on average. Young women carried the least, at $54.
When spending less than $5, only half of those aged 18 to 29 still use cash, the research suggests.
Overall, half of those quizzed said they used debit or credit cards when spending from $5 to less than $20.
Only one-quarter used cash for buying something worth $20-$50.
“This is likely to be a combination of the convenience of tap-and-go technology and not wanting to be weighed down with coins,” said Dean Pearson, NAB’s head of economics.
However, three-quarters of the 2000 surveyed adults still tendered cash for spends of less than $5.
“The use of cash in Australia is changing rapidly as consumers and businesses embrace cashless payments.
“Young people look at cash more as an emergency and are more linked to digital technologies.”
Mr Pearson said cash still played an important role, particularly for older Australians.
Nine in 10 of those aged over 50 still used it for the smallest transactions.
University student George Halstead, 22, has gone almost entirely cashless, instead using a debit card linked to her savings account. “I have about $2-$5 in my purse, if that. I would use a card even for chewing gum for $1.
“It’s much easier. I have a very small wallet and don’t want to carry around cash or coins.”
The survey found almost half of people used debit cards when spending from $50 to less than $100.
Credit cards were most popular for purchases worth more than $500, with one in two Australians opting to pay that way.
Mr Pearson said how much we earned did not seem to influence how much cash we carried.