Sydney, Australia – 20 January 2016 – Retailers in Denmark could start phasing out cash payments this year[1], but half of Australians think that the land down under will still be one of first in the world to go cashless.  Already paving the way for digital- only payments, the majority of Australians  (58%) believe more cash will be removed from general use within the next five years.  This is supported by Reserve Bank of Australia figures confirming the decline in cash withdrawals from ATM’s.

Galaxy research commissioned by MasterCard, found that Australians are slowly preparing themselves for the switch, with two-thirds (64%) already reducing the amount of cash they carry on them; more than half (53%) now carry less than $50 in cash. Some Australians would even be happy to see coins phased out sooner than paper (42%), marking them cumbersome and annoying to carry (40%).

While speed and convenience continue to drive the popularity of card payments, the readiness to flip from coin to card could also be a result of increased safety concerns.  More than one in three (36%) Australians believe that society would be safer if cash wasn’t around.

Andrew Cartwright, SVP and Country Manager, Australia, MasterCard, believes that the safety advantages associated with cards will play a big role in the adoption of a cashless society.

“Australians have long considered credit and debit cards a fast and convenient way to pay, but what we are starting to see is a real understanding of, and appreciation for, the safety benefits of cards over cash.  Australians know that in the instance their wallet is stolen or lost, any cash is as good as gone.  However, knowing they’re protected against any unauthorised purchases on their cards provides the peace of mind they need in an already unfortunate scenario.”

As the likelihood of a cashless country increases, businesses are urged to stay ahead of the curve, with one in three Australians (39%) believing retailers need to do more to embrace new payment innovations to help eliminate cash.

Cash-only businesses may have a longer way to go in the eyes of modern shoppers. Most Australians (89%) have negative perceptions of ‘cash-only’ businesses, associating them with being very small (70%), trying to avoid declaring income or paying tax (42%), and being unsophisticated (19%).

About the Research:

The study was conducted online during December 2015 using a sample of 1,005 Australians aged between 18-64 years old across Australia.

For further information contact:

Heather-Ann Cody| Weber Shandwick

02 9994 4414 | hcody@webershandwick.com

About MasterCard

MasterCard (NYSE: MA), www.mastercard.com,is a technology company in the global payments industry. We operate the worlds fastest payments processing network, connecting consumers, financial institutions, merchants, governments and businesses in more than 210 countries and territories. MasterCard’s products and solutions make everyday activities – such as shopping, traveling, running a business and managing finances – easier, more secure and more efficient for everyone. Follow us on Twitter @MasterCardAU, join the discussion and subscribe for the latest news.

[1] http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/europe/denmark-moves-closer-to-a-cashless-society-10231995.html