INFOGRAPHIC: Australia has chequed out

Shane White

Shane White Senior production editor, BlueNotes


Like shoulder pads, undercuts and cargo pants the humble cheque is out of fashion in Australia and falling well out of use. Indeed, new research shows Australians have abandoned the use of cheques and the pace of desertion is increasing.

The below infographic, from the Australian Payments Clearing Association, shows not only has cheque use plummeted over the past decade but 2016 saw the largest yearly drop recorded in that period.

The data is from the APCA’s Milestones report, which showed the total number of cheques used in Australia fell 17.2 per cent to just 126.4 million in 2016 – after falls of 15.7 per cent and 13.5 per cent in 2015 and 2014, respectively. 

Just 1.2 per cent of all payments in Australia are now made with a cheque.

Other findings from the report include bad news for cash, the use of which also continues to fall steadily despite a separate rise in physical cash holdings.

Digital payments are of course the winner, with direct debit and credit spending rising 7.2 per cent to 3.3 billion transactions and card use surging 12.1 per cent to 7 billion.

The stats make for interesting reading ahead of the Australian Tax Office’s upcoming "Cash and the Hidden Economy report scheduled for in February 2017.

Shane White is senior production editor at BlueNotes

The views and opinions expressed in this communication are those of the author and may not necessarily state or reflect those of ANZ.