The major bank putting a halt on Australia’s march toward a cashless society

Sep 26, 2023
While more and more banks are doing away with cash-based services in favour of digital transactions, one major bank has announced their committment to provide cash transactions. Source: Getty Images.

As Australia continues its inevitable trudge towards a cashless society, one bank is bucking the trend and ensuring their valued customers can still carry out cash transactions in their branches.

While more and more banks are doing away with cash-based services in favour of digital transactions, Westpac has announced that customers can now visit any Westpac, St George, BankSA or Bank of Melbourne branch across Australia for their cash transactions following the rollout of new technology which connects branch network across the country.

The upgrade means customers can now use more locations across Australia, with any St.George, Bank of Melbourne or BankSA customer able to make cash transactions in a Westpac branch, and vice versa.

Westpac CEO Peter King said the move was part of a “broader strategy” to offer “greater access to banking services” for their customers.

“This completes a major piece of work as we integrate technology across Westpac Group brands,” King said.

“We are simplifying and consolidating our operations so that we deliver better services for customers, no matter which Westpac brand they use.

“Westpac, St George, BankSA and Bank of Melbourne customers will now have more options to do their banking at any location across Australia as part of a more connected branch network.

“This is part of our broader strategy to provide our customers, including in rural and regional Australia, greater access to banking services through investing in technology, digital services such as our mobile app and video banking, branch footprint and key partnerships.”

The move from Westpac will no doubt come as welcome news to those who rely on cash transactions and cash services, particularly after Macquarie Bank announced plans to scrap cash transactions across all of its branches.

The fifth-largest bank in Australia recently revealed they will be dropping cash, cheque, and phone payment services from 2024 with payments to be conducted entirely digitally and all cash withdrawals to take place entirely at ATMs from November 2024.

“Between January 2024 and November 2024, we’ll be phasing out our cash and cheque services across all Macquarie banking and wealth management products, including pension and super accounts,” Macquarie Bank said in a statement.

“Customers can continue to withdraw cash from their transaction account via ATMs across Australia and overseas without fees. However, cash deposits and branch withdrawals will no longer be available.

“This means from November 2024 we’ll no longer offer cash or cheque services. Instead, you’ll be able to make payments digitally — a safer, quicker, and more convenient way to bank.”

While there are many arguments as to why Australia should not become a cashless society, it seems that the move is an inevitable one, however, armed with the right tips and advice, this transition can be a smooth and empowering journey.

From starting with familiar purchases and seeking support from loved ones, there are a number of effective ways to seamlessly transition to a cashless world.

  • Start with familiar transactions: Begin by using cashless payment methods for familiar transactions, such as grocery shopping or paying bills. This approach allows you to gain confidence with everyday purchases before venturing into more complex transactions.
  • Educate yourself: Take advantage of online tutorials, guides, and workshops that explain the ins and outs of digital payment platforms. Familiarise yourself with the features, security measures, and terms of service to make informed decisions.
  • Seek support from tech-savvy friends or family: If you encounter any difficulties during the transition, reach out to tech-savvy friends or family members for guidance and support. They can offer valuable insights and help troubleshoot any issues.
  • Practice patience and perseverance: Transitioning to a cashless society may take time, so be patient with yourself as you adapt to new methods. Embrace the learning process and remember that practice makes perfect.


IMPORTANT LEGAL INFO This article is of a general nature and FYI only, because it doesn’t take into account your financial or legal situation, objectives or needs. That means it’s not financial product or legal advice and shouldn’t be relied upon as if it is. Before making a financial or legal decision, you should work out if the info is appropriate for your situation and get independent, licensed financial services or legal advice.

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