​Australia to turn into cashless society by 2022: Westpac

New research by Westpac has revealed Australians agree that they will increasingly become more reliant on their smartphones to make payments.

New research by Westpac has predicted that Australia's reliance on smartphones will see the nation be cash free by 2022.

In the Westpac Cash Free report, one in three Australians are already using their smartphones to manage their finances. In fact, 79 percent of respondents agreed that using their smartphones to make an electronic payment will become a standard; the same number of people also agreed that the ability to pay for an item using an app will become the norm.

Meanwhile 81 percent said the ability to pre-order an item using an app before picking it up will become the norm, the report indicated.

The report highlighted 53 percent of payments made by Australian smartphone users are already cashless.

Westpac head of consumer deposits Elliot Smith said in light of the report, it is important for Australian businesses today to enable customers to pay the way they want to.

"Australian companies need to be innovative and integrate digital solutions into existing offerings or risk being phased out of the market. More than four in five (83 per cent) of Australians agree those businesses that do not provide a digital offering will be left behind," he said.

Banks in Australia have already started to deliver technologies to cater for the cashless market. For instance, in April 2014 Commonwealth Bank of Australia introduced the first cardless ATM cash withdrawal service in the country. Westpac followed soon after, rolling out their cardless ATMs for customers. This meant that customers could use their smartphones to obtain a unique code before using it to make a cardless withdrawal.

At the same time, the technology behind tap and go payments on smartphones is continuously being refreshed. In March, Commonwealth Bank refreshed its mobile banking app to enable customers on any Android phone with near-field communication (NFC) running KitKat 4.4 and above to make tap and go payments.

Following closely behind, Westpac announced in April that owners of Samsung Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge would be able to tap and pay from their devices. This function is also currently available to Westpac customers who are owners of the Samsung Galaxy S4, Galaxy S5, S5 Mini, Galaxy Alpha, Note 3, Note 4, and Note Edge handsets.

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