Tasmania Wants Cash

calendar iconFeb 23, 2022


Tasmanians do not want a cashless society, citing the privacy and sense of security provided by cash as key reasons to keep it, in addition to its advantages for small businesses.

The Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) says Tasmanians continue to have good access to cash even as electronic and online payments are becoming more popular and overall movement of banknotes in the community has reduced. In fact, the RBA notes, the total value of banknotes in circulation has doubled in ten years, even though cash is increasingly used ‘for precautionary and store-of-wealth purposes’.

Some leading figures in commerce have suggested this decline in active usage will continue, but even they acknowledge the essentiality of cash. Michael Bailey, Chief Executive of the Tasmanian Chamber of Commerce says: “There will always be a place for cash, but the reality is that we’re living in a digital, online world and we will need to adapt to that.”

Representing the Small Business Council of Tasmania, Robert Mallett pushed back against the assumption that cashless transactions are preferable, saying ‘any benefits to business of going cashless are minimal.’

It is the basic unit of currency... Cash cannot go away. It must never, ever go away… It doesn’t make sense to be moving toward a cashless society in the near future.
"Robert Mallett, Executive OfficerSmall Business Council of Tasmania

The Australian Economic Society agrees that ‘there is no need to go cashless yet’, with President Paul Blacklow highlighting the unique benefits of cash that make it an essential payment choice alongside cashless options.

Many people like the privacy and anonymity of cash. Some people feel safe knowing they have the cash available as it gives them a sense of security.
"Paul Blacklow, President,Australian Economic Society

Blacklow adds that budgeting with cash is often preferred as its physical nature makes it easier to allot income and see exactly how much is left over when essentials have been covered. He acknowledges it is possible to budget similarly with electronic banking ‘but it’s not quite the same’, and adds that ‘some people just don’t like using a credit or debit card’.

Last Updated: Feb 23, 2022