The rapid rise of the Coronavirus crisis has intensified debate again amid concerns about banknotes and coins transmitting the virus, according to MoneyTransfers.com

In addition to this, the accelerating decline of high street bank branches and ATMs has made the possibility of a cashless society in the next few years more likely than ever before, the company says.

Prior to COVID-19 The Reserve Bank of Australia’s Consumer Payment Survey suggested that Australian consumers were continuing to switch to electronic payment methods in preference to cash, although the RBA said the share of in-person payments made in cash was still substantial — at 32 per cent by number and 19 per cent by value in 2019. But this was already down from 43 and 30 per cent, respectively, in 2016.

“For comparison, if one considers all payments, including online payments where cash use is not an option, cash made up 27 per cent by number and around ten per cent by value in 2019,” the RBA noted at the time.

In its survey, MoneyTransfers.com studied attitudes around the APAC region. It revealed that India is in the number one spot when it comes to consumer desires for a cashless society in their country.

In second position is Malaysia, where 65 per cent of Malaysians are in support of having a cashless society in their country.

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Indonesia are in joint third place, as 63 per cent of citizens in each respective country believe becoming cashless will have a positive impact on their society and economy.

Vietnam (60 per cent) and Singapore (56 per cent) are among the other countries where over 55 per cent of citizens are in favour of transitioning towards a cashless society, respectively in fourth and fifth position.

Australia is in tenth place, as 35 per cent of Australians think going entirely cash-free would be a great decision. Furthermore, 51 per cent of Australians admit to going cashless more often since the COVID-19 outbreak.

Interestingly, the United States is joint 15th (alongside Sweden), as just 24 per cent of Americans feel a cashless society would be a good thing for their country.

In 17th position is France, where only 18 per cent of French citizens would welcome their country being entirely dependent on electronic forms of payment.

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