ANZ is scrapping cash withdrawals on its way to a cashless society
A major Australian bank has phased out over-the-counter cash transactions at some branches in a bid to achieve a cashless society.
ANZ said it decided to halt transactions at its branches as demand has halved in the past four years.
WATCH THE VIDEO ABOVE: Major bank cancels branch transactions.
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The “small number” of affected branches, which have not been disclosed, have smart ATMs capable of conducting such transactions, ANZ told 7NEWS.com.au.
“Cash and check deposits and cash withdrawals can still be made using our smart ATM and coin deposit machines,” ANZ said.
Swinburne University technology professor Steve Worthington described the forward-looking move as negative.
“Seniors, new migrants, people with disabilities, they need personal help, here there is a risk of excluding some elements of our society,” he told 7NEWS.
But ANZ told 7NEWS.com.au: “We have staff available to help customers who may be using (smart ATMs) for the first time.”
The bank isn’t the only one moving towards a cashless society – but ANZ’s latest move away from cash handling was put in the spotlight when a talkback radio host from Melbourne 3AW responded to an email from a concerned listener .
7NEWS reckons ANZ is dealing with fewer cash transactions nationwide, not just at the branches that have stopped doing in-person transactions.
Banking for millions of Australians has transformed over the past four years, with 50 per cent fewer ANZ customers now choosing to transact in person.
The scrapping of branch transactions is not new and comes as 30 per cent of bank branches in the country’s major capitals have closed overall – down from 3,335 in 2017 to 2,332 in 2022, according to the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA ).
7NEWS estimates that only 8 percent of ANZ customers and 3 percent of NAB customers rely solely on branches.
ANZ said most customers who visit bank branches these days are there to “discuss more complex and larger financial decisions, such as B. borrowing for a new home or setting up business accounts for a new company”.
7NEWS understands ANZ’s decision to ditch in-person cash transactions gives employees time for those conversations.
Regional closures leave rural Aussies begging
But as Australia’s banks move toward a cashless society, rural Australians are being left in the lurch.
Many rural Australians make treacherous journeys through winding mountain ranges to get to the nearest bank, take days off to manage their finances and live in fear of being left behind if they don’t have access to cash.
More than 150 people and organizations have written to a Senate inquiry into the closure of rural bank branches, describing the impact of losing their essential local services.
The research examines increasing store closures across regional Australia as more than 650 stores were closed in the five years to June.
Many people have asked governments and the big four banks to support rural people and their communities.
“Please, I beg of you, do not allow this matter to be swept under the rug in the interests of the future of this nation,” wrote Jim Seymour, a former resident of Tenterfield in north NSW.
One bank customer told 7NEWS his local branch “closed 12 months ago” and he is now traveling to South Melbourne to do his banking, but says he “doesn’t know what he’s going to do” if that branch closes too becomes.
The community of Alexandra in the Victoria region was concerned for its elderly, who will have to travel 40 miles (68 km) to Healesville to do their banking when NAB closes its branch in May.
The direct route to Healesville is via Black Spur Drive, a scenic road known for its hairpin bends.
“The Black Spur is very windy and steep, has lots of wildlife crossing, has buses, logging trucks and lots of tourists…using it,” one resident wrote.
“The road is often shrouded in fog, covered with ice.”
Many caregivers and elders have written about their fears of online scammers when using digital services and being excluded from society when they don’t have access to cash.
Submissions to the inquiry close on Friday.
– With AAP
https://7news.com.au/business/anz/major-australian-bank-scraps-cash-transactions-in-move-towards-cashless-society-c-10198030 ANZ is scrapping cash withdrawals on its way to a cashless society