Australians Prefer Digital Payment and Horde Cash to Fight Against COVID-19

Ritika Sharma
Ritika Kumari Sharma is an Economics Honors graduate from the University of Calcutta. She is completely into finance and believes that cryptocurrencies are the future. She is an enthusiast learner about the cryptocurrency and blockchain technology.
  • Aussies are opting for digital mode contradicts Australia’s Reserve Bank’s report (RBA) claims that the demand for cash has increased by AUD $11 billion since February of this year
  • By 2022, global e-commerce was expected to rise to $5.69 trillion

As the world continues its Covid-19 battles, more and more countries are preferring to opt for digital payment modes and are hoarding physical cash to avoid any chance of them. Many governments throughout the world have been promoting the use of digital modes of payments to restrict the spread of the Covid-19 virus. When a statement was issued by the World Health Organization (WHO) on March 9 recommending that people turn to digital payments to tackle the spread of COVID-19, the movement to cashless societies quickly picked up speed.

Currently, there are 24,602 active cases of Coronavirus with 485 deaths. Now the report that the Aussies are opting for digital mode contradicts Australia’s Reserve Bank’s report (RBA) claims that the demand for cash has increased by AUD $11 billion since February of this year, which is a substantial rise given the movement to using digital payment systems.

Recent research from MyState Bank shows that covid-19 has accelerated Australia ‘s transition more than two-thirds (68 percent) of Australians are in favour of contactless technology and other forms of digital payments. The research takes in consideration the effect of the coronavirus outbreak on both the Australian economy as well as the cards and payments industry.

Transparency and trust Crypto’s strong point

As per the Forbes report In 2019, E-commerce was responsible for around $3.53 trillion in sales, increasing from $2.92 trillion in 2018. By 2022, global e-commerce was expected to rise to $5.69 trillion but with Covid-19 hitting early March that figure could have gone drastically. A whopping 72 per cent of E-commerce sales will take place on a mobile device by 2021.

Adding to this, they are using real-time payments, in which money is transferred in less than a minute between bank accounts, and available through the New Payments Platform (NPP). Fintechs such as BeemIt and Afterpay have also seen an increase in mobile payment options, and apps such as Osko by BPAY and digital wallets such as Apple Pay and Alipay have increased the speed of payments.

According to the Royal Australian Mint, practically no demand for crypto coins in 2020 as physical retail closed down, and due to which soon its five and ten cents could disappear forever. Although the Australian Reserve Bank responsible for the supply of banknotes was forced to manufacture 2.5 billion extra banknotes to respond to Australians withdrawing their savings as early pandemic panic that emptied consumers banks cash stores. Also, a growing number of shops refuse to take cash, and encourage customers to use cell phones and watches to tap-and-go with cards or digital wallets and also leveraging touch ID or face ID.

Reported data in favour of digital payments

According to Mastercard and Visa reports obtained by the Commonwealth Bank of Australia (CBA), a record of $1bn in digital wallet transactions was reported in March, 77 percent of all digital transactions in March were on a debit card, CBA data shows. Credit card usage rose 21 percent and debit card by 16 percent. As on March, there was about 36 million digital wallet transactions made which 33 million as compared to February.

Although this seems that Australia’s gathering up cash people are on to something but that’s the wrong asset. The present recessionary condition is kept only by a struggling economy and the small surplus of consumer products that permanently holds the street protests.

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