Last year market analysts Juniper research published a study suggesting that the global value of the contactless payment market will reach almost $100 billion by 2018.

It’s significant growth with countries such as France and Canada1 leading the shift away from cash (and cheques) towards cashless payments. Australia is not far behind and is one of the leading nations in the race to be completely cash free.

In Australia, debit card transactions have grown significantly over the past 20 years, up almost 300 million per month. The use of cash has fallen with the RBA’s2 latest consumer payments study revealing that cash transactions dipped significantly from 70% of all transactions in 2007 to 47% in 2013 – a drop of roughly a third. If the trend continues, there’s a good chance we’ll soon view cash as an obsolete payment system.

This shift has predominantly been consumer driven and with consumer behaviour and expectations changing, it’s essential that businesses continue to keep up with their customers.

What factors are driving the adoption of a cashless society?

Improved global internet access has had a significant flow on effect to the number of e-commerce transactions that are made. There has also been the rapid growth of instant payment technologies such as peer-to-peer mobile payments, virtual currencies, and digital wallets.

Other benefits include:

  • Increased security and convenience
  • Improved transaction processing
  • Improved loyalty programmes
  • Increased customer spending
  • Reduction in crime (cash makes illegal activities easier)
  • Detailed transaction histories
  • Increased customer satisfaction

2017 is the year for Australia small businesses to embrace cashless payments

With the rapid move towards a cashless society primarily consumer driven, the onus is on small businesses to make sure they are up to speed and have the right technology in place.

Australia is already one of the world’s biggest markets for contactless payments but smaller businesses, especially those in the hospitality and retail sectors, have been slow to adopt the necessary technology to keep up with their customers and grow their business.

With surveys indicating that as many as a quarter of Australians reject cash3 only businesses, 2017 should definitely be the year that your business embraces cashless card payments (if you haven’t already).

Find out more about Live eftpos and our contactless payment solutions.

1. Top Countries Using Digital Money For Cashless Transactions
2. RBA consumer payments study
3. Australians are avoiding cash-only businesses: survey

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Sam Edmond

Sam Edmond is Digital Marketing Director for Live group. His digital marketing experience includes roles in Auckland, London, and Sydney. Sam is a Kiwi and supports Arsenal F.C.