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Days Of Cash Payments Numbered As 19% Of Aussie Wallets Go Digital

One in five Australians have ditched cash and physical cards to pay with their phone or smartwatch at the checkout.

New research from comparison site Finder shows that 19 per cent of Australians – equivalent to about 3.7 million – now use digital wallets such as Apple Pay, Google Pay, and Samsung Pay at the checkout. 30 per cent have their debit or credit card connected to their smartphone or watch, with another 10 per cent saying they plan to connect it in the near future.

The shift away from cash and cards is most prominent among Gen Z, with 39 per cent using the technology, compared to only six per cent of baby boomers.

According to Kate Browne, personal finance expert at Finder, smart devices are rapidly becoming a preferred option for day-to-day payments.

“For younger users like Gen Z, not only are they cashless, they are the first generation to go wallet-less.

“As we deal with the challenges of COVID-19, tap-and-pay features of smartphones can also help people protect their personal health,” she said.

Cash payments are suffering, meanwhile, with RBA data on ATMs showing plummeting withdrawals. The total amount withdrawn has dropped by $4 million per month over the last two years, and the number of withdrawals was slashed in half over the same period from 50 million to less than 25 million.

According to Browne, digital wallet users consider them safer, easier, and faster to use than physical cards and cash.

“Millions have embraced their ‘digital wallet’ and can adequately manage their day-to-day finances without the need for a physical billfold.

“Because all your card information is securely stored within an app, once connected, it’s very similar to using your physical debit card to tap and go,” she said.

The survey also found that five per cent of Aussies say their banks do not offer digital wallet options.

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