It’s rare for people to carry cash these days. Nonetheless, if someone wants to withdraw cash, they should be able to. After all, it is their money. However, a woman from Australia was told recently that she couldn’t, finding out that certain banks are becoming more and more limited.
Unable to Withdraw Cash
Taryn Compton from Brisbane, Australia, was doing some home renovations totaling $3,500. She went to the bank, planning to withdraw cash from the ATM. Unfortunately, when she arrived, she realized she’d forgotten her bank card. As a result, she would have to go inside to withdraw cash. Although her venture indoors to withdraw cash should have been fairly easy, she stumbled upon a major hurdle.
The ANZ bank teller informed Taryn the only way to withdraw cash would be through the ATM. A now panicked Taryn informed the teller that she absolutely needed to withdraw cash. Fortunately, the teller had a solution, Taryn would be issued a temporary card.
Permanently Withdrawing Cash
While it appeared things were resolved, Taryn hit yet another hurdle. Upon going to the ATM, she received an error message, preventing her from being able to withdraw cash. “(The teller) said, ‘I am really sorry, there is nothing we can do’,” Compton recalled. After being informed that the branch she went to doesn’t “carry cash here,” a frustrated Taryn decided to transfer everything she had into another account with a different bank. “If you can’t get your own money from a branch, what’s the point of a bank?” she disclosed to Today, after posting her frustrations to the internet. Within five days of her posting the viral video, it had more than 40,000 views.
Exploring Digital Banking
An ANZ spokesperson said, “At ANZ we have seen in-branch transactions fall 50 per cent over the past five years, with just one per cent of transactions now done over the counter and 96 per cent conducted digitally.”
As a result, “Some ANZ branches no longer handle cash at the counter but continue to have cash available through our onsite Smart ATMs.” The spokesperson continued, concluding, “At these branches, cash and cheque deposits and cash withdrawals can continue to be made by using our Smart ATM and coin deposit machines, and we have staff on hand to help customers using them for the first time.”
@basketballmumma How the hell can you go to a bank and be told you cannot access your own money ? #ridiculous #boymum #workfromhome #passiveincome theworldhasgonecrazy #decentralized #givememymoney ♬ original sound – Taryn Compton
Australia has slowly made moves to do away with cash services, such as the ability to withdraw cash in person and moving into digital banking. In 2022, there was an estimated 6% of cash payments across the continent. While the incident poses frustration for ANZ patrons, it also highlights a bigger concern. Banks, like most members of society, play a role in the upkeep of a healthy economy. Therefore, shifting to a completely cashless system may create uncertainty regarding the role of banks in the future.
In contrast, the economic uncertainty hasn’t derailed Australia from enthusiastically exploring a “cashless society.” Economics Professor Richard Holden points out that in 2018 the Reserve Bank of Australia developed the “New Payments Platform” in which they highly pushed for digital transactions. “It’s become harder to get cash out, and banks are literally taking ATMs out of service, so it’s kind of an effort to go get cash,” he explained.
Unsurprisingly, banks aren’t the only entities going digital. For example, both McDonald’s and Walmart have made changes to their workforce, incorporating the use of AI and cutting costs. Firstly, there will be fewer wages paid. Secondly, machines work more quickly and don’t require breaks, in the same way, people need to eat or use the restroom. Lastly, machines require less space to operate, meaning companies’ building costs may also decrease.
Interestingly, Australia isn’t the only country to explore the notion of all electronic banking. The US has also begun to do more electronically than in person. Most major banks and credit unions have an app for their customers to do “online banking.” Allowing their patrons to bank from anywhere, in most cases eliminating the need to withdraw cash. Some banks have even been established for the purpose of total digital banking, meaning they never had physical branches in the first place. In fact, according to one report, 27% of Americans use an “online only” bank.
Banking of the Future
Although adjusting to a cashless system may be daunting, digital banking can be advantageous. Interestingly, “online only” banks have a customer satisfaction rating of around 88%. Meanwhile, of the patrons who do in-person banking, only 66% reported customer satisfaction. Furthermore, online banking saves the customer money because most online banks have little to no annual membership fees. Some of the overall best-rated digital banks include Ally, SoFi, and American Express. Other nontraditional methods of banking include Neobanks and apps like Venmo.
Advancements in technology have undoubtedly made a number of things easier and more efficient such as depositing a check with your phone or ordering prescriptions online. However, the downside is that things have become obsolete, such as in-person banking to withdraw cash. With enough ingenuity, society can continue to learn and adapt to new technologies designed to make life easier when harnessed properly.
Keep Reading: Apple Launches Its Savings Account With 4.15% Interest Rate
- “Digital Banking Trends 2023.” Bank Rate. René Bennett. March 13, 2023.
- “Queensland bank tells customer she can’t withdraw cash.” News. Jack Evans. July 4, 2023.
- “Bank customer closes account after teller says she can’t withdraw own cash.” 9now. Tom Livingstone. July 2023.