The Australian government said it will phase out of checks by 2030, as it looks to modernize its payments system.
During the Australian Banking Association conference, Treasurer Jim Chalmers said that Australia’s regulatory infrastructure has not kept pace with the biggest trends and transitions that are happening in the finance world. This is especially true within the digital economy as well as payments.
Earlier this week, the Australian government released the “Strategic Plan for the Future of Australia’s Payment System” where it summarizes the government’s dedication that Australia’s payment system remains safe, affordable, accessible, and trustworthy. The plan was developed in collaboration with regulators, consumer, industry, and business representatives.
Some of the government’s priorities include reducing scams and fraud, establishing a new payments licensing network, facilitating cross-border payments, and phasing out the use of checks.
Checks On the Way Out by 2030
Check use has been on the decline for some time, particularly as consumer behavior has shifted and many are now opting for more efficient payment methods.
As a result to this decreased check usage, banks have stopped issuing checkbooks to new customers—and merchants have also stopped accepting checks as payment.
Although the government understands that its older population and those living in rural areas still rely on this traditional form of payment, change is still underway as government check usage is set to terminate by the end of 2028 and the complete elimination of the check system will be finalized by 2030.
“This transition will be gradual, coordinated and inclusive,” Chalmers said during the conference. “There will be public consultation on the transition, including with the states and territories, before the end of this year.”