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One billion less dollars in circulation

There is one billion less dollars in circulation, this is clearly a very deliberate move by the government to drive us towards a cashless society. The heat wave in Europe is very worrying of course but it was this hot 50 years ago.

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Australia is steadily marching towards a cashless society, and it’s making headlines as the number of physical notes in circulation officially takes a dip for the first time since dollars and cents were introduced in 1966. According to data from the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA), over a billion dollars’ worth of cash vanished from circulation in the last financial year, signaling a significant shift that could impact certain groups, especially the elderly and those living in regional areas.

This move towards less cash is not only affecting everyday transactions but also posing a challenge for the nation’s criminals, who heavily rely on cash for their under-the-radar dealings. As less cash circulates, it becomes harder for them to conduct transactions undetected.

For over half a century, the total value and number of notes in circulation had been increasing year after year since the decimal currency was introduced. However, in the 2022-23 financial year, this trend came to a halt, with a notable decrease in $50 notes.

The RBA’s survey of consumer payment trends revealed that a third of Australians now consider themselves “low cash users,” significantly reducing their cash-based transactions. In contrast, three years ago, approximately half of the nation’s residents reported such behavior.

Interestingly, despite the surge in ultra-quick payment methods like Apple Pay and touch-and-go options, cash use actually increased during the COVID years when electronic payments were the preferred choice. But times have changed, and currently, there’s just $101.3 billion in cash circulating throughout the country, the smallest figure since November 2019.

The decline in the number of $5, $20, and $50 notes is particularly notable, while the $100 note, although showing a slight increase, is also slowing down overall.

It’s a clear sign that cash usage is likely to continue its downward trend in the coming years, much like the phasing out of cheques, which are expected to be completely obsolete in Australia by 2030. The country is embracing the future of digital transactions, moving towards a cashless era that will redefine how Australians handle their finances.

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