Australia Post Will Not Go Cashless: CEO

Branch closures are putting pressure on Australia Post to provide banking services to regional communities.
Australia Post Will Not Go Cashless: CEO
A general view of an Australia Post outlet in Sydney, Australia, on Oct. 28, 2020. (Ryan Pierse/Getty Images)
Monica O’Shea
11/7/2023
Updated:
11/7/2023
0:00

Australia Post CEO Paul Graham says the national postal service will continue supporting cash services throughout the country.

In a Senate Estimates hearing a week ago, Mr. Graham said customers continued to look for cash services and that Australia Post would respond by expanding its range of services.

He noted that bank closures have put pressure on post offices and available cash had become an issue.

“Customers are looking for a broader scope of services. Small businesses particularly feel that they’re not able to access what they would traditionally access through their banking branches. And the provision of cash has become an issue,” Mr. Graham said in response to questions from One Nation Queensland Senator Malcolm Roberts.

“Whilst a lot of people say cash is going to die, we certainly don’t see that, particularly in certain demographics, and also in certain neighbourhoods where cash is still prevalent.”

Senator Roberts said he was pleased to hear Australia Post’s stance on cash.

“A lot of people are starting to swing back now, because they know it’s essential for freedom,” Mr. Roberts said.

Australia post CEO Paul Graham speaks to media during a press conference in Melbourne, Australia, on April 27, 2023. (AAP Image/Joel Carrett)
Australia post CEO Paul Graham speaks to media during a press conference in Melbourne, Australia, on April 27, 2023. (AAP Image/Joel Carrett)

Pressure on Bank@Post

Australia Post provides access to banking services at 3,400 post offices via a service known as Bank@Post.

Bank closures have put stress on post offices providing the Bank@Post service, Mr. Graham revealed.

“It’s fair to say that since that service has been put in place and since we’ve seen an increase in the number of bank closures the pressure that has been placed on our post offices that provide Bank@Post has increased,” Mr. Graham said.

He noted Australia Post was never established from both a physical and service perspective to deal with cash, adding, “We’re happy to extend the range of services we provide to our customers at Bank@Post, but this would need to be funded by the banks.”

In the mining town of Coober Pedy, South Australia, Australia Post is now flying cash into town on a weekly basis because there are no banks remaining in the town.

The Australia Post CEO was not able to provide details of its commercial agreements with banks and institutions.

“We have contracts with over 81 financial institutions and would not be comfortable sharing that sensitive information,” he said.

One Nation Senator Malcolm Roberts questions Therapeutic Goods Administration during Senate Estimates in Parliament House, in Canberra, Australia, on April 6, 2022. (Screenshot by The Epoch Times)
One Nation Senator Malcolm Roberts questions Therapeutic Goods Administration during Senate Estimates in Parliament House, in Canberra, Australia, on April 6, 2022. (Screenshot by The Epoch Times)

One Nation Queensland Senator Malcolm Roberts said with support from banks, Australia Post could extend its range of banking services.

“There is obviously a vacuum left by the bank closures and post offices are well positioned to fill it with the right support,” Mr. Roberts said.

“Whether for small businesses, the provision of cash, or even managing large numbers of gold coins following fundraisers, Australia Post rightly sees its over-the-counter Bank@Post services as essential,”  Mr. Roberts said.

Monica O’Shea is a reporter based in Australia. She previously worked as a reporter for Motley Fool Australia, Daily Mail Australia, and Fairfax Regional Media.