Thu. Aug 22nd, 2019

Is Australia following the footsteps of Sweden in becoming the next cashless country of the world?

Before trashing cash in Australia, numerous concerned should be taken into account as Australia is already seeing a decline in cash payments.

The new ‘tap-and-go’ technology has altered the way Australians make payments, but, Sweden is taking it to the next level with plans to completely cut out cash.

It was found by a Swedish bank study that just 13 percent of payments in the country are made using cash, bringing the Scandinavian nation closer to its aim of becoming the world’s first cashless society by 2023.

Instead, most Swedes choose debit card payments, preferring to use a pin to uphold their trust in these technologies.

A finance app known as “Swish” is also a main player in Sweden, however, the Reserve Bank of Australia found mobile applications make up a small percentage of the nation’s payments.

In spite of this, the study also revealed that there’s a definite decline in cash payments in Australia. An economist at the University of NSW, Professor Richard Holden, stated in 2018 that Australia could become cashless by 2020, via a series of changes inclusive of retiring the $100 bill by the end of 2018, & the $50 bill by the end of 2019.

Such a move was called by Holden as “the logical extension of an economy that already heavily relies on electronic payments”, but it is still some way off in Australia.

As it stands, it was reported by the Reserve Bank that 37 percent of payments in Australia in 2016 were made using cash. So, we still have to travel some distance before completely disregarding notes and coins.

Cash is more widely used for smaller payments by all age groups, especially for those under $10.

However, it is the younger Aussies who are preferring different payment methods, including phone apps.