Cash­less world for the young

But older Aussies pre­fer notes, coins

Herald Sun - - NEWS - KAREN COL­LIER karen.col­ @KarenCol­lierHS

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.

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