Aussies flood banks in ‘cash day’ protest

Space-Separated Links URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL


Fed up Aussies flocked to banks and ATMs on Tuesday in a major protest against the country’s move towards a cashless society.

Hoards of people were seen lining up to withdraw cash on April 2 – a day dubbed online as “Draw Out Some Cash Day”.

The movement, led by the Cash is King Facebook group, aimed to show banks and retailers there is still a demand for cash amid warnings the country will be “functionally cashless” by 2025.

Social media posts show “massive queues” of people, both young and old, lining up at various banks around the country, with one woman sharing she waited for up to an hour to get her hands on bank notes.

“All banks I passed today had queues out the door,” one person wrote on Facebook alongside a picture of people lining up outside a Commonwealth Bank branch.

“(I) withdrew $1000 dollars. The bank was packed!” another wrote.

“I went to Robina Centre (Gold Coast) and took $1000. I had to wait nearly one hour,” said another.

“(I) queued up for 30min. (There were) people doing the same thing, getting money out. I think today was very successful,” another added.

“My local bank … never seen it so busy. Lines out the door,” said another.

Others on X, formerly known as Twitter, also praised the move.

“This is the best!!!”one person wrote.

“Did my bit. Massive queues at ATMs everywhere,” another commented.

“Well done Aussies! Keep up the pressure,” said another.

Some even called for the initiative to be held on a more regular basis.

“We need to do this on a weekly basis so the branches will have to order cash to fill the ATMs thus increasing demand,” one person wrote.

Aussies flood banks in cash protest

The protest comes as experts warn Australia is quickly heading towards a cashless society.

“I’d say we’ll be functionally cashless by the end of 2025 — it’ll just be a complete rarity,” Richard Holden, professor of economics at UNSW Business School, previously told news.com.au.

“But unless the government gets involved to accelerate the process I think we’ll be actually cashless by 2030.”.

Statistics from the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) show that in 2010 more than 60 per cent of purchases were made with cash compared to just 13 per cent by 2022.

Banks have shuttered about 1600 branches in the past six years alone.

A number of Australian businesses have also made the move to being cashless in recent year.

One notable example saw independent Queensland MP Bob Katter knocked back by the Parliament House staff dining room in February this year after trying to pay for his meal with a $50 note.

In September last year, Macquarie Bank announced it would phase out cash from its branches during 2024, while other banks have copped criticism for making some branches cashless and discouraging the deposit or withdrawal of cash at other branches.

Fast food chains such as Nandos phased out cash in 2020, while a number of KFC restaurants are also now cashless, along with big entertainment venues such as the MCG, SGC and Sydney’s Allianz Stadium.

In Australia, it is legal for businesses to refuse to accept cash provided that they inform consumers of their stance before any “contract” for the supply of goods or services is entered into.