Townsville Bulletin



AUSTRALIA will become fully cashless by 2031 as Covid-19 hastens the death of physical currency, according to most experts surveyed by Finder.

The comparison website surveyed 25 experts and 14, or 56 per cent, said they believed the nation was on track to banish cash in the next decade.

Finder said 89 per cent believed the pandemic has accelerate­d its decline, a result backed up by the company’s recent analysis of RBA data, which showed ATM withdrawal­s had fallen 65 per cent since peaking in December 2008.

Finder head of consumer research Graham Cooke said the lifespan for polymer money was shortening.

“Finder predicted a cashless society in Australia by 2036 a few years back and now even that timeline may be too far away,” he said.

“Cash has already been pushed to the edges of our economy, and cashonly businesses are few and far between. Expect them to get even rarer.”

Latest data shows that July this year had by far the lowest number of withdrawal­s of any July on record.

A Finder survey of 1015 Australian­s also found 40 per cent were using less cash than this time last year.

Australian National University expert Bob Breunig said concerns about Covid-19 had definitely hastened the use of digital payments.

And the move towards a cashless world would also eliminate some kinds of tax avoidance, he said.

“People often avoid tax by doing cash-type jobs and if there is no cash under the table then it’ll be easier to actually follow transactio­ns,” the director of the ANU’S Tax and Transfer Policy Institute said.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia