Cash lingers longer in purses and wal­lets

Central and North Burnett Times - - MONEY SAVER - AN­THONY KEANE

IF YOU have had the same $20 note sit­ting in your purse or wal­let for weeks, you’re not alone. The dwin­dling rel­e­vance of cash has be­come ob­vi­ous by how lit­tle of it peo­ple carry on them and how in­fre­quently they with­draw money, re­search by Be­yond Bank Aus­tralia shows. More than half of us now carry less than $50 and more than a quar­ter carry less than $20, while half visit an ATM only once a month or less fre­quently, it found. Be­yond Bank’s gen­eral man­ager cus­tomer ex­pe­ri­ence, Nick May, said Aus­tralians’ de­pen­dence on cash was quickly dis­ap­pear­ing across all age groups, and 72 per cent used con­tact­less card pay­ments in­stead of cash. “It wouldn’t have been that long ago, maybe three to five years, when we all vis­ited the ATM reg­u­larly, prob­a­bly weekly, took out a few hun­dred dol­lars and re­lied on that to get by,” he said. “There is now al­most no in­stance where you can’t com­plete a pur­chase with a card or a phone app – even the hum­ble pri­mary school lunch or­der of­ten is done by some form of elec­tronic pay­ment. “It wasn’t that long ago that some re­tail­ers ac­cepted cash only for pur­chases. We now see the op­po­site, where ma­jor venues are cash­less and pa­trons can only trans­act by card.’’ Ka­rina Stain, 34, said she “hardly ever’’ needed cash be­cause most busi­nesses did not have a lower limit on card trans­ac­tions. “I use my card or phone to pay for al­most ev­ery­thing,” she said. “I guess I might buy a cof­fee once a month or so, but that would be it.’’ Wealth for Life Fi­nan­cial Plan­ning prin­ci­pal Rex Whitford said while cash would never com­pletely dis­ap­pear, it was be­com­ing less rel­e­vant and this cre­ated dan­gers around con­trol­ling spend­ing be­cause peo­ple never phys­i­cally handed over money. “You swipe a card. Beep. Fan­tas­tic. No pain felt,’’ he said. “We are inventing new ways to get rid of our money but not mak­ing new ways to make money. It’s im­por­tant to have a mech­a­nism in place to di­rect money to their own sav­ings and in­vest­ments be­fore they spend ev­ery­thing.”

CASH­LESS CAF­FEINE: Ka­rina Stain says she hardly uses cash and prefers to pull out a card or use her phone to pay for pur­chases. Picture: Tait Sch­maal

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