CHART: How Australia Rates Against Other Countries For Cash And Electronic Payments

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Electronic payments are on the rise in Australia but as a nation we’re still a fair way off becoming a cashless society.

That said as a country Australia is quite advanced compared to other nations when it comes to electronic transactions despite the fact that as a percentage of GDP Australia still has a lot of cash in circulation – estimated to be about $60 billion. More on that here.

This chart from a recent Australian Payments Clearing Association report shows how Australia stacks up to other nation’s economies in terms of electronic transactions versus cash in circulation as a percentage of GDP per adult.

The growth of online shopping and contactless payments are accelerating the shift away from cash.

APCA CEO Chris Hamilton said there will always be a need for cash but it won’t be a consumer’s first choice.

“Australians love their ‘tap and go’ cards, and we are going to see lots of competition and innovation in mobile payments in the next few years. Consumers are going to find that cash is not their first choice any more, even for convenience items like a coffee,” he said.

Rewardle – the electronic coffee card which is due to IPO on the ASX next week- is one company which has spotted the trend of cashless transactions for smaller items. A trend which Hamilton said will become the norm.

“Increasingly, they may also find that automated, super-convenient consumer services will accept a wide range of digital payments – but not cash,” he said.

As economies grow so too does the total number of transactions occurring and the economic benefits of having a ‘less cash’ society are significant. Electronic transactions are cheaper to handle and faster to process.

The full report is here.

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