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Australia: Petition Calls for Cash and Banking Guarantee

Categories : Cash and Crises, Cash does not require a technology infrastructure, Cash is a contingency and fall-back solution, Cash is also a store of value, Cash is available to all users
September 8, 2023
Tags : Access to cash, Australia, Petitions, Resilience
A petition calls for banks to be required to ensure every community has access to cash and banking services and for physical retailers selling food and essential groceries to be required to accept cash.
Guillaume Lepecq

Chair, CashEssentials

This post is also available in: Spanish

Banks are deserting towns and suburbs, leaving Australians without access to cash and banking services.

Millions of Australian consumers and businesses trust and rely on cash for everyday needs and budgeting purposes. Even Australians who don’t attend banks or use cash regularly need access to face-to-face banking services and physical money sometimes.

“Australia must follow other countries and move to protect our right to access and use cash,” said Jason Bryce, spokesperson for the Cash Welcome campaign. “Physical cash is publicly-owned essential national economic infrastructure. Going cashless represents a privatisation of our money system and means we have to pay to use our own money.” he added.

Without a guarantee of access to complete banking services and physical cash and a guaranteed right to use cash to buy food and essentials:

A Petition has Gathered over 125,000 Signatures.

Cash Welcome has launched a petition on that calls for an Australian Banking and Cash Guarantee that includes these rights:

1)      All Australians must have reasonable local access to cash and full banking services.

2)      All Australians must be able to choose cash when paying for food and essentials at physical retailers.

At the time of writing, 125,000 people have signed the petition.

Cash Provides Resilience to the Australian Payment System

The Senate’s Rural and Regional Affairs Committee is investigating the extent and impact of bank closures in regional Australia, particularly on access to cash.

In June 2023, the Treasury published its strategic plan for Australia’s Payments System. The report notes that the use of cash for retail payments has declined significantly, from 27 % in 2019 to 17% in 2022. However, the increase in cash in circulation indicates the importance of store-of-value motivations for holding cash, potentially for uncertain circumstances.

The report emphasizes that “The cash system also provides resilience to the Australia payment systemin times of natural disaster, crises and network outages. While consumers’ preference for everyday payments is trending towards digital, it is important that the payments system continues to include, and be accessible to, all Australians.”

This post is also available in: Spanish