ATM use hits 15-year low as tap-and-go payments surge

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ATM use hits 15-year low as tap-and-go payments surge

RBA readies new payments platform.

Cash withdrawals from ATMs have plummeted to a 15-year low as Australians flock to electronic payments like tap-and-go.

Figures released by the Reserve Bank of Australia yesterday show consumers are moving away from physical bank branches and ATMs and towards a cashless economy.

In January, ATM withdrawals fell by 7.7 percent compared to the same time last year. For the last two consecutive years, ATM withdrawals have fallen by 6 percent.

Australians are also withdrawing cash during debit transactions at increasingly lower levels; the RBA figures show debit cash withdrawals are dropping at the fastest ever annual rate.

The number of overall card transactions, in contrast, reached a 13-year high, and the average credit card balance declined by $84 to $3083.30, as more people use cards for smaller transactions thanks to growth in tap-and-go technologies.

The figures arrive in the lead-up to the impending release of the country's new payments platform (NPP).

Once it goes live later this year, the NPP will enable same-day settlement of bulk and direct payments, real-time retail payments, and the ability to finalise low-value payments outside banking hours.

The RBA has also indicated that the system - which is being built by Fiserv and Swift - will enable banks to ditch BSBs and account numbers in favour of a single identifying number for receivers of payments.

The NPP is made up of a base infrastructure that participating Australian financial institutions connect to, allowing payments to be made in real-time across different banks.

BPay has already committed to building one of the first overlay services on top of the platform, which will allow bank customers to send payments in real-time to someone's mobile number, email address, or ABN.

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