The first credit card was introduced in 1950 by Frank McNamara, of Diners Club fame. A US archaeologist, Jonathan Mark Kenoyer, said that the ancient civilisations in the Indus Valley used clay tablets in much the same way as credit cards over 5000 years ago.

With the support of Australian financial institutions, smartphone payment apps continue to rise, together with the "tap and go" technology, and an array of installment payment providers such as AfterPay, ZipPay and more.

During the recent Innovation Summit, several leaders in the cashless payment space tried to answer the question, "Is there opportunity for Australia in going cashless?"

Matt Wood, Visa's head of digital products in Australia and New Zealand, said, “There will always be an element of those in society attracted to the anonymity of cash, a cashless future will rely on there being a social contract between the consumer and business around a genuine value exchange.There's a real sense that if people are going to give something up (like their data), they expect a fair exchange of value."

Dr Leila Fourie, Australian Payments Network chief executive officer, said, "The use of debit cards has increased 87 per cent over the last five years and online banking transactions have increased 43 per cent whereas ATM and cheque usage have decreased 25 and 60 per cent respectively."  

However, Dr.Fourie also mentioned that having a cashless society also has social impact beyond economic issues. Also, it might have a negative impact on some vulnerable groups in society who use cash to budget.

Source: Australian Finance Review


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