Customers of one of Australia’s biggest banks will no longer be able to access cash at the counters of certain branches in the country.
ANZ customers can no longer access over-the-counter cash transactions at certain branches in Victoria.
The issue was discussed on air by 3AW’s Neil Mitchell after he was emailed by a listener about the puzzling move.
In a statement provided to the radio station, ANZ Victoria and Tasmania general manager Cameron Home confirmed “a small number” of branches “no longer handle cash at the counter”, but stopped short of revealing just how many branches were impacted.
“At these branches cash and cheque deposits and cash withdrawals continue to be possible through a smart ATM and coin deposit machines,” the statement reads.
Cash and cheque deposits and cash withdrawals are still possible at these affected branches via ATMs and coin deposit machines, but staff inside the stores will now focus on speaking with customers about their more complex banking needs, rather than everyday transactions.
An ANZ spokesman confirmed that there are a “small number of branches where we no longer handle cash at a counter” in a statement provided to news.com.au.
“At these branches, cash and cheque deposits and cash withdrawals can continue to be made by using our Smart ATM and coin deposit machinesand we have staff on hand to help customers that might be using them for the first time,” the statement reads.
“Our customers are changing how they bank with more than a 50 per cent decline in in branch transactions across ANZ over the past four years.
“Only eight per cent of our customers solely rely on branches for their everyday banking needs, with the majority preferring online and mobile banking methods.
“Today, many customers visit our branches to discuss more complex and big financial decisions, like borrowing for a new home or establishing business accounts for a new business.”
Earlier this year, ANZ also released a report on the growing preference for digital payments over cash in Australia, with ANZ Worldline Payment Solutions chief market officer Anne McDonnell noting cash was fading fast.
“As consumers become accustomed to digital and even invisible payments – think transport apps automatically taking care of payment – they increasingly regard making physical payments as an inconvenience,” she said.
“It’s this impatience our mobile world has fuelled that’s driving businesses to digitise their customer experience.”
Meanwhile, Balaji Natarajan, International ANZ’s head of industry and innovation, said we were in the midst of a “mindset change”.
“Take for instance in APAC where people – a growing number of whom are digital natives – no longer visit a bank branch or write a cheque. These are very significant forces.”
The bank also noted that a growing number of corporate treasurers, especially in markets like Australia, were moving away from paper and reducing their reliance on legacy payment tools such as cheques.
Earlier this month, the Reserve Bank of Australia revealed that according to the latest data from the Bank’s Consumer Payments Survey (CPS), the use of cash for day-to-day payments has “declined” for many years, with the share of total retail payments made in cash falling from 69 per cent in 2007 to 27 per cent in 2019.
It noted that the use of ATMs has also been declining since 2008, with the number and value of ATM withdrawals falling by about 60 per cent and 40 per cent, respectively.
The trend has been accelerated by the Covid pandemic, when cash was not accepted by many retailers due to health concerns, with the RBA estimating just 13 per cent of payments were made via cash by the end of last year.
Meanwhile, the 2022 Global Payments Report predicted that cash will account for only two per cent of value from all point-of-sale transactions by 2025 in Australia as the trend of shunning physical money continues to grow.