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Australian smartphone users predict the nation will be cash free by 2022


21 September 2015

  • Over half (53 per cent) of payments currently made in Australia are cashless 
  • 79 per cent of Australian smartphone users agree making payments via a smartphone will soon become the norm

New research from Westpac has revealed Australians believe we are quickly becoming a cashless society, predicting Australia will be cash free1 by 2022.

The Westpac Cash Free Report found four in five (79 per cent) Australians agree making all electronic payments via a smartphone will soon become the norm, with over half (53 per cent) of current payments made electronically.

According to the research, one third (33 per cent) of Australian smartphone users believe monitoring spending and 21 per cent believe tracking their finances has been made easier thanks to smartphone apps, like Westpac Mobile Banking.

Elliot Smith, Westpac's Head of Consumer Deposits said, "Customers are at the heart of our business and we are committed to technological innovation and cashless options to make customers' lives easier. This includes providing digital offerings such as Cardless Cash, Fingerprint login and tap and pay, and investing in innovative start-up companies that are engineering smart solutions to everyday problems.

"In the last 12 months there has been a 200 per cent increase in Westpac customers using their mobile to tap and pay. Cashless technology is the way of the future."
An example of Westpac embracing this technology to look at innovative ways to help their customers create greater efficiencies in their everyday life is the bank's recent investment in smartphone app Hey You through venture capital fund, Reinventure. Using the Hey You app, Westpac customers can now order takeaway food and coffee directly from their Westpac app without their wallet from their local Hey You affiliate café. Customers can also cut down on the amount of time they spend waiting for their takeaway order.

"Long wait times for food and drinks after ordering are one of the biggest frustrations for Australians (61 per cent) as we become increasingly time poor and expect items on demand. It is great to be able to invest in a company like Hey You which not only reduces the amount of time Australians spend in queues, but brings a fresh and dynamic approach to cashless payments. As we become a cashless society, four in five (81 per cent) Australian smartphone users agree the ability to pre-order an item using an app before picking it up will become the norm," Mr Smith said.

"To stay competitive and relevant in today's market, Australian companies need to be innovative and integrate digital solutions into existing offerings or risk being phased out of the market. More than four in five (83 per cent) Australians agree those businesses that do not provide a digital offering will be left behind."

Rebekah Campbell, Co-Founder of Hey You, said, "Australian consumers are becoming used to an Uber-like service.  No one enjoys waiting around to order coffee or lunch. To have it paid for and waiting when you arrive feels like a 21st century experience."

"As well as making the customer's life easier, Hey You helps cafe owners run more efficient businesses. The Hey You app allows cafes to process more orders by removing cash and reducing the time and cost to serve each customer," Ms Campbell said. 

The Hey You app is available from the Apple Store, Google Play and Windows Phone Store. Westpac customers can also download the Hey You app via they Hey You link in the Westpac Mobile Banking app.

More information on Westpac Mobile Banking

More information on Hey You


Key findings of the Westpac Cash Free Report

  • Australian smartphone users predict most Aussies will be 90 per cent cash-free by October 2027
  • Excluding those who believe Australia will never be cash-free, there is an expectation that Australia will be cash-free by June 2022
  • 4 in 5 (81 per cent) Aussie smartphone users agree the ability to pre-order an item using an app before picking it up will become the norm
  • 4 in 5 (79 per cent) Aussie smartphone users agree digital wallets (i.e. making electronic payments from a smartphone) will become standard
  • 53 per cent of payments made by Aussie smartphone users are cashless
  • 33 per cent of Australian smartphone users' lives are made easier by apps by managing their finances
  • More than 3 in 5 (61 per cent) Aussie smartphone users find queueing in general to be frustrating 
  • Long wait times for food and drinks (after ordering) is the biggest frustration (61 per cent) - with more than half (51 per cent) of Australians being frustrated with customers in front of them taking their time


Notes to editors

About the research
Fieldwork was conducted between 24 July and 3 August 2015 among 1,137 Australian smartphone users aged 18 and over. After interviewing, data was weighted to the latest population estimates sources from the Australian Bureau of Statistics. The report aims to generate insights into smartphone technology and living in the digital ages. 

Westpac's investment in the Reinventure fund
Westpac is the largest investor in the Reinventure Fund. The fund is operated independently by the managers, Danny Gilligan and Simon Cant, who are also co-investors in the fund. Once the fund invests, the job of Reinventure is to add value to the ventures, including unlocking maximum synergy value between the ventures and the largest investor, Westpac. Westpac is keen to understand emerging trends, acquire know-how from great entrepreneurs and co-create in areas that can benefit from the complementary skill-sets both parties bring.

About Hey You
Hey You is a smartphone app that allows customers to beat the queue at their local café or favourite food outlet. After registering an account, customers need to find their favourite Hey You café and order from the available items on the menu. They will be prompted to add a payment source when they process their first order. The café is notified of their order with the customer receiving confirmation on their phone once the café has received the order. For further information visit:

About Hey You integration into the Westpac app
From 17 September 2015, Westpac customers who download the Westpac app will have direct access in the app to Hey You via a link on the home screen. In addition, Westpac customers who download the Hey You app and setup an account will receive a one off $5 voucher to use at their local Hey You restaurant and café. Existing Hey You customers who have already linked their Westpac account to Hey You will automatically receive a $5 voucher (terms and conditions apply).

1 Cash free is defined as 90 per cent cashless payments