Oz consumers 'spurring hard cash for cards'

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Melbourne, July 14 : Aussie consumers are increasingly becoming averse to carrying cash with them, according to a survey conducted by a credit firm.

The MasterCard Worldwide global survey found Aussies to be among folks who feel the most uncomfortable about carrying big wads in their wallets.

The surveyors discovered that Australians were more willing to embrace new technologies like contactless payments.

Based on interviews with 7000 consumers in 13 countries, the survey showed that 80 per cent of the people Down Under used less cash these days than they did five years ago, behind South Korea with 87 per cent and New Zealand with 82 per cent.

A dislike for carrying large amounts of money was felt most strongly in Australia, with 88 per cent of those surveyed preferring to keep a slimmer wallet.

Following them were New Zealanders, with 87 per cent of the people surveyed expressing the same feeling.

In Singapore, only 58 per cent said that they minded carrying lots of cash.

Leigh Clapham, MasterCard Australasia vice president, said that it was clear that the use of cash by Australians was gradually decreasing.

"With the Reserve Bank's own analysis revealing cash is more expensive than cards as a percentage of the transaction size, consumers in Australia are increasingly using payment cards to make their purchases,'' News.com.au quoted Clapham as saying.

"Australians understand the benefits that such payment technologies bring in comparison to other forms of payment, and are willing to use new ways to pay instead of cash," Clapham said.

The survey also revealed that Italian consumers carried the most cash, with more than 47 per cent saying that they had over 50 U.S. dollars in their wallets, while those in Singapore and China were the most likely to carry less than 50 dollars in cash at a time.

The choice of payment method was largely determined by the amount of the purchase, followed by the amount of cash in a person's wallet, the balance in their checking account, the ability to earn rewards, the type of retailer and the speed of the transaction.

The convenience factor was perceived as the biggest benefit of using contactless payments, followed by the additional security features, quicker transaction times, and the benefit of not having to carry cash.

ANI

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