COVID-19 cultivates cashless behaviour for Australians

09 Jun 2020

Forty-four per cent of Australians use cards or mobile phone payments more now than they did a year ago and almost half (48%) don’t believe cash is safe to use in light of coronavirus, according to data from MYOB.

Fifty-nine per cent claim they will not go back to using cash as much as they did previously and 15% state they won’t use cash at all once the pandemic is over, important considerations for SMEs as they navigate a new normal for running a business.

“Cash use has been slowly declining for many years and the coronavirus pandemic has certainly fast tracked many businesses and consumers to go cashless,” MYOB Economist Jon Manning said.

“A move toward cashless is positive for the Australian economy, making it easier to make and accept payments, stay compliant and keep on top of cashflow.”

A Reserve Bank of Australia survey from earlier this year showed 27% of consumer payments were made in cash, down from 69% in 2007, which suggests that while a downturn was already in motion, COVID-19 has accelerated the cash decline.

Almost 60% of research respondents said their local stores only accept contactless payments and there are more still who request card payment over cash where possible.

However, the move to cashless won’t be an easy transition for everyone, with 38% of respondents claiming they would pay with cash more if it were allowed and 24% dislike businesses only offering contactless payment solutions.

“This suggests that the coronavirus pandemic is really forcing behavioural change onto consumers that perhaps may have taken a lot longer if it were to happen organically.

“Business owners should be mindful that going cashless could be quite an adjustment for some consumers and they’ll need to keep this in mind as they make changes to their payment methods.”


For further comment or other information please contact:

Selina Ife, Communications Consultant, MYOB


About the research

Research conducted by Gundabluey for MYOB. In field 18-22 May 2020. n=1,077

About MYOB

MYOB is a leading business platform with a core purpose of helping more businesses in Australia and New Zealand start, survive and succeed. At the heart of MYOB is a customer base of 1.2 million businesses and a network of more than 40,000 accountants, bookkeepers and consultants, for whom MYOB delivers end-to-end business and accounting solutions. MYOB operates across four key segments: Small and Medium Enterprises (SME), Enterprise, Financial Services and Practice. For more information visit or follow @MYOB on Twitter.