Is Cash On the Way Out?

Believe it or not, our little old Aussie currency turns fifty on Sunday, but many are predicting that it won’t be around for much longer.

Prior to February 1966, we were still using the British pound, a major tie to the motherland that we no longer wanted or needed. Enter the Australian dollar.

But with countries like Sweden and Denmark leading the charge towards a cashless world, it won’t be long before you’ll be using your card or phone to buy just about anything.

And it may not be that far off, with a Westpac paper predicting that we’ll be a cashless country by 2022, though some financial experts think this is an aggressive prediction.

People’s Choice Credit Union CEO Steve Laidlaw thinks that cash may even outlive credit cards, stating that mobile phones are already beginning to replace the plastic for the better.

“Research has found you are much more likely to feel your mobile phone is missing within about 20 minutes rather than your credit card, and phones have additional security devices.” On the money, Steve.

Mr Laidlaw also thinks that the five-dollar note will become a coin, which to me, sounds like a backwards step. Coins are annoying and must be returned to the void.

Wallet real estate is valuable.

So why the big hurry? Well other than overwhelming convenience and lighter wallets, electronic payments can be traced, whereas cash can be harder to follow. This spells bad news for criminals attempting to hide their profits.

While we wait for a brand new coin to take up space in our wallets, here are some currency figures that you might find interesting:

15 billion coins have been produced by the Royal Australian Mint since 1966.

1.3 billion banknotes are currently in circulation, according to the Reserve Bank.

$65.5 billion is the value of those banknotes.

1984 — the year the one-dollar coin was introduced.

1988 — the year the two-dollar coin was introduced.

1990 – the year that one and two cent coins were taken out of circulation.

The amount of $100 banknotes in circulation has increased by 120% since 2003.