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Vanishing cash economy a threat and opportunity for fintech

Australia's cash economy is disappearing, which is good and bad for fintechs

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Many Australians are waving goodbye to cash, which is both good and bad for Australian fintech.

Debit and credit cards have overtaken cash as Australians’ preferred method of payment which represents both a threat and an opportunity for fintech, peak industry body FinTech Australia has claimed.

According to new numbers from the Reserve Bank of Australia, the central bank, card use has doubled since 2007. Cash, meanwhile, is in secular decline.

While the RBA report avoids making inferences about what the demise of cash may mean, FinTech Australia have issued a statement warning that it is a double-edged sword.

On the one hand, the growth of electronic payments is great for fintech because it generates more data and creates new demand for financial technologies, the group said.

But it could also be dangerous if small fintech companies get locked out of important new infrastructure.

“The coming New Payments Platform (NPP), which will provide near instant 24/7 payments, and the proposed open banking regime will further drive the trend away from cash and towards fintech innovation,” said Danielle Szetho, the CEO of FinTech Australia.

“As a result, we encourage the Reserve Bank of Australia to ensure that there are clear, transparent and affordable access protocols for fintechs to NPP infrastructure - unfortunately we haven’t seen these as yet.”

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