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Westpac's major cash change for customers

Cash withdrawals will be limited by the major bank as Aussies turn to plastic.

Hands remove Australian money from a wallet and the exterior of a Westpac branch
Westpac is putting new default limits on cash withdrawals and transactions. (Source: Getty)

Westpac has unveiled a major change for Aussies looking to withdraw cash from ATMs, with a new default limit to be set.

Westpac customers will have a default cash withdrawal limit of $1,000 after the big bank said Aussies were turning away from using cash.

On top of that, the major bank will also set a new transaction limit at a default of $8,000 when selecting a credit payment.

This is a major change. The current limit when tapping, inserting or making online payments with a debit card is a customer's entire available balance. Customers will still be able to set different limits for cash withdrawals.

Is cash dead?

The old adage that ‘cash is king’ may be a thing of the past as more Aussies move towards electronic payments.

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The Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) Cash Use and Attitudes Australia report found there had been a sharp decline in cash transactions across the country.

“Most Australians now use cash infrequently,” the RBA said.

“Indeed, 72 per cent of Australians were classed as ‘low cash users’ in 2022, using cash for 20 per cent or less of their in-person transactions, compared with 50 per cent in 2019.”

‘High cash users’ - Australians who use cash for 80 per cent or more of their in-person transactions - now constitute only 7 per cent of the country’s population — half of what it was in 2019.

“Also, just over half of respondents did not use cash at all during the 2022 survey week, compared with around one-third in 2019,” the RBA said.

“One in 20 participants used cash for all in-person transactions in the 2022 survey, compared with one in 10 in 2019.”

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