Aussie bank ditches cash

The data supports the move, with Australians withdrawing cash less and less.

Australian cash banknotes with inset of Macquarie Bank logo.
Macquarie says less than 1 per cent of its customers use cheques or cash. (Source: Getty)

A major Australian bank will ditch cash in all its branches and soon won’t accept physical currency at all.

Macquarie Bank (MQG) announced today it will be phasing out cash and cheque services from January next year.

The digital bank’s Aussie customers won’t be able to deposit or withdraw cash at branches by May, however, they will still be able to withdraw money from ATMs.

The reason? Customers simply aren’t using cash anymore.

“As a digital bank, we’re committed to transitioning to completely digital payments by November 2024 as a safer, faster and convenient way to bank,” a Macquarie spokesperson told Yahoo Finance.

Do you only use cash? Tell your side of the story to belinda.grantgeary@yahooinc.com

“The majority of our customers already bank digitally and we’re working very closely to support the less than 1 per cent of our customers who currently use cheques or cash to ensure they have access to other digital payment methods.”

The concept of going cashless is not a new one. Commonwealth Bank opened a number of specialist branches this year that don’t support teller withdrawals over the counter.

How many Australians actually use cash?

The data supports the move, with a 15-year analysis showing Australians are withdrawing cash less and less.

From a peak of 77.9 million withdrawals in December 2008, the figure has gradually declined to 29.7 million by June this year.

Charts on cash use
(Source: Finder/ABS)

Further to this, Finder’s Consumer Sentiment Tracker found only 13 per cent of Australians used cash daily, with 31 per cent opting for cash transactions just once a week.

The trend appears to be more significant in younger generations.

Daily cash use sits at 19 per cent for Baby Boomers but dwindles to 15 per cent, 12 per cent, and 5 per cent for Gen X, Y (Millennials), and Z, respectively.

The shift can be attributed to a number of factors including the surge in retailers accepting card payments and the pandemic encouraging contactless transactions.

It’s worth noting many card payments come with an additional charge, which is a reason some choose to live by the ‘Cash is King’ adage.

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