Australia’s fifth-largest bank will phase out cash and cheque deposits and withdrawals from 2024 as it plans to transform into a solely digital banking platform.
“We’ll also be switching off our automated telephone banking service used to make payments over the phone.”
While Macquarie Bank currently partners with the National Australia Bank (NAB) to allow its customers to make cash withdrawals and deposits at NAB branches, the service will also cease by November 2024.
The bank will then phase out its telephone banking system in March and its cheque system by May 2024.
In addition, customers will be unable to deposit or withdraw cash or cheques over the counter at any Macquarie branch from May 2024 onward.
"As a digital bank, we’re committed to transitioning to completely digital payments by November 2024 as a safer, faster and convenient way to bank," a Macquarie spokesperson told The Epoch Times.
Concerns About Negative Impacts of Macquarie’s DecisionWhile Macquarie Bank said the decision to phase out cash and cheque services was necessary, some experts have raised concerns about its impacts on customers.
Nick Bruining, a financial advisor, said he had received calls from Macquarie customers complaining about the bank’s announcement.
The advisor also said that while many people were into online banking, a large group of people, including the elderly, were quite wary of doing transactions online.
“The reality is that there's a lot of people that rely on family members, kids, and other people to do their banking for them.”
In addition, Mr. Bruining said there were no details on how the bank would help its customers deal with super contributions and pension-related payments that were only processed via cheque.
While the bank still allows its customers to withdraw and deposit cash via ATMs, Mr. Bruining pointed out that a lot of people had security concerns about this approach.
Transition to Digital Banking AcceleratesMacquarie Bank’s announcement comes as several major banks implement plans to phase out cash and cheque transactions.
In March, ANZ, one of Australia’s big four banks, announced that it would end cash withdrawal in some branches, citing a sharp decline in over-the-counter transactions.
The bank did not specify which or how many branches were affected by the decision.
It was later reported that National Australia Bank would implement a similar policy.
The government also said it would stop using cheques and move to new forms of payment by the end of 2028.
Around three-quarters of payments were made using cards, with half using debit cards and a quarter with credit.
The rest of all transactions were made up of mobile payments and direct online transfers.