One of the biggest banks in Australia is making significant changes to the amount of cash customers can withdraw and how much they are allowed to spend using their debit cards.
Westpac is reportedly restricting the amount of cash that customers can pull out of ATMs to $1,000 AUD per day, which is about $667 USD.
In addition, the bank is setting a maximum amount that people can spend using their debit card.
That amount will be fixed at $8,000 AUD per day, which is equivalent to $5,343 USD at time of publishing.
That change is a big departure from the bank’s previous policies, reports Yahoo Finance Australia.
“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.”
The changes follow a report from Australia’s central bank that found a “sharp decline” in the number of cash transactions executed throughout the country.
“The sharp decline in the cash share of transactions reflects that most Australians now use cash infrequently.
Indeed, 72% of Australians were classed as ‘low cash users’ in 2022, using cash for 20% or less of their in-person transactions, compared with 50% in 2019.
By contrast, ‘high cash users’, who use cash for 80% or more of their in-person transactions, now represent only about 7% of Australians – a number that halved between 2019 and 2022.
Also, just over half of respondents did not use cash at all during the 2022 survey week, compared with around one-third in 2019. One in 20 participants used cash for all in-person transactions in the 2022 survey, compared with one in 10 in 2019.”