“Cash Day” protest in Australia: How popular are cash payments among Aussies vs other APAC markets?
April 11th, 2024, Samuel Tan

“Cash Day” protest in Australia: How popular are cash payments among Aussies vs other APAC markets?

In protest against Australia’s growing shift towards cashless transactions, pro-cash activists recently organised “Draw Out Some Cash Day” on April 2, which saw large numbers of Aussies flock to bank branches and ATMs to withdraw cash – and demonstrate to financial institutions and retailers that there is still a demand for cash.

But what proportion of Aussies today like using cash when making payments? And amid expert predictions that the country will become completely cashless by 2030, how many Aussies believe that cash will remain a relevant form of currency in the near future? Now latest research from YouGov sheds light on these questions and how attitudes towards cash in Australia compares with other key markets in APAC.

Latest data from YouGov Profiles reveals that over two in five (43%) Aussies like using cash to settle their purchases. This is significantly higher than in Singapore (34%) and Hong Kong (31%), but lower compared to Indonesia (63%) and Thailand (53%) where a clear majority of consumers indicate so.

On the other hand, about three in ten (31%) Aussies prefer making cashless payments, while over a quarter have no clear preference.

Interestingly, Millennials in Australia are significantly more likely than other generations to prefer cash payments. Around half say they like to use cash, compared to around two in five for other birth cohorts.

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Do most consumers think that cash will continue to be relevant in the near future?

Latest YouGov Surveys research also shows that half (50%) of Aussies think that cash will become irrelevant in ten years’ time. This is lower compared to other APAC markets such as Thailand (61%), Indonesia (57%), Hong Kong (53%) but higher than in Singapore (44%).

In contrast, about two in five (42%) Aussies believe cash will continue to maintain its relevance in the near future, while 8% are on the fence.

Surprisingly, a generational analysis reveals that Millennials in Australia are most likely to believe cash will become outdated in the next ten years, with almost three in five indicating so – despite having the largest proportion who like paying in cash. While more than half of Gen Z and Gen X also think so, most Baby Boomers believe cash will remain relevant in the coming decade.

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Methodology: YouGov Profiles is based on continuously collected data and rolling surveys, rather than from a single limited questionnaire. Profiles data examined in this article was based on continuously collected data from adults aged 18+ years in 5 markets, up until April 2024 (52-week moving average). Learn more about Profiles.

YouGov Surveys: Serviced provides quick survey results from nationally representative or targeted audiences in multiple markets. The data is based on surveys of adults aged 18+ years in 5 markets with sample sizes varying between 1,010 and 2,118 for each market. All surveys were conducted online in December 2023. Data from Australia and Singapore uses a nationally representative sample, while data from Indonesia, Hong Kong and Thailand use online representative samples. Learn more about YouGov Surveys: Serviced.

Cover Photo by Marianna Massey