This article originally appeared on digital business site

Australians appear happy to head to a cashless society – far quicker than the banks had expected – and they hate waiting on café queues, reveals a new study.

New research from Westpac has revealed Australian consumers believe the country will be largely cash free within seven years.  The Westpac Cash Free Report found four in five (79 per cent) Australians agree making all electronic payments via a smartphone will soon become the norm, with over half (53 per cent) of current payments made electronically.

Among the key findings:

  • Australian smartphone users predict most Aussies will be 90 per cent cash-free by October 2027
  • Excluding those who believe Australia will never be cash-free, there is an expectation that Australia will be cash-free by June 2022
  • 4 in 5 (81 per cent) Aussie smartphone users agree the ability to pre-order an item using an app before picking it up will become the norm
  • 4 in 5 (79 per cent) Aussie smartphone users agree digital wallets (i.e. making electronic payments from a smartphone) will become standard
  • 53 per cent of payments made by Aussie smartphone users are cashless
  • 33 per cent of Australian smartphone users’ lives are made easier by apps by managing their finances
  • More than 3 in 5 (61 per cent) Aussie smartphone users find queueing in general to be frustrating
  • Long wait times for food and drinks (after ordering) is the biggest frustration (61 per cent) – with more than half (51 per cent) of Australians being frustrated with customers in front of them taking their time

Elliot Smith, Westpac’s Head of Consumer Deposits said, “Customers are at the heart of our business and we are committed to technological innovation and cashless options to make customers’ lives easier. This includes providing digital offerings such as Cardless Cash, Fingerprint login and tap and pay, and investing in innovative start-up companies that are engineering smart solutions to everyday problems.

As consumers shift and their behaviours change, the very idea of what constitutes banking services may also change.

An example is Westpac’s recent investment in smartphone app Hey You via venture capital fund, Reinventure. Bank customers can now order takeaway food and coffee directly from their Westpac app without their wallet from their local Hey You affiliate café. Customers can also cut down on the amount of time they spend waiting for their takeaway order.

“Long wait times for food and drinks after ordering are one of the biggest frustrations for Australians (61 per cent) as we become increasingly time poor and expect items on demand. It is great to be able to invest in a company like Hey You which not only reduces the amount of time Australians spend in queues, but brings a fresh and dynamic approach to cashless payments. As we become a cashless society, four in five (81 per cent) Australian smartphone users agree the ability to pre-order an item using an app before picking it up will become the norm,”  Smith said.

“To stay competitive and relevant in today’s market, 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) Australians agree those businesses that do not provide a digital offering will be left behind.”