Australia Signs WEF Treaty To Close ALL Major Banks and Switch to Fully Cashless Society

Australia has signed a World Economic Forum (WEF) treaty that will see all major banks in the country close as citizens are forced to transition to a fully cashless society.

Bankwest, a subsidiary of the Commonwealth Bank of Australia (CBA), is the first bank to close its branches and move the remaining 15 CBA branches in an effort to go fully digital by October 2024. reports: This announcement comes as Sydney-based banking software company Constantinople, a startup founded by two former executives of major bank Westpac, unveil a new app called Business+. They claim that this app will be an all-in-one mobile app that can offer Australia’s first end-to-end digital banking platform for the country’s 2.4 million businesses with fewer than 10 employees.

CBA and Westpac are two of Australia’s “Big Four,” or the four largest banks that have traditionally dominated Australia’s banking industry in terms of market share, revenue and total assets. The two others are ANZ and National Australia Bank.

Last year, Constantinople raised AU$32 million ($21.2 million) from investors to develop its “bank-in-a-box” platform aimed at getting more people to shift away from traditional financial institutions and toward digital banking.

Great Southern Bank, one of the country’s largest credit unions, has already signed up to launch Business+. CEO and Managing Director Paul Lewis said the company had “taken the best of the neo-bank proposition, digitally first, with what we’re good at, which is the banking license side, regulatory requirements.” Neobanks are digital-only banking platforms that operate solely online.

“We’ve got the whole package, which I think is a first in Australia,” he said, noting that other neobanks launched with only a handful of basic products such as savings accounts, but no lending capability. Small businesses would be able to sign up for an account in under 10 minutes, a time frame he called “fantastic.”

Australian transition to cashless society hitting roadblocks

Australia is transitioning to a cashless society faster than almost anywhere else. Last year, the Australian Banking Association reported that the use of digital wallet payments on smartphones and watches had increased from AU$746 million ($494.28 million) in 2018 to over AU$93 billion ($61.62 billion) in 2022.

Nevertheless, the response to Bankwest’s branch closures shows that there is still strong opposition to Australia’s transition to a fully cashless society.

Many of the bank’s customers, for example, are up in arms over its decision to become Australia’s first major digital-only bank.

“How dare they limit our access to our own cash money and their services, which should be widely available to us,” said Lyn who, after over three decades of loyalty to Bankwest, will be closing all of her accounts with the bank after its “disrespectful” move that will make vulnerable customers have a more difficult time accessing financial services.

“My main concern is not for ourselves, but for our seniors, for whom it can be very difficult to adapt to the new technological ways, physically move around, drive or travel large distances,” said Lyn.

The Australian Senate has also demanded that Bankwest executives appear for an inquiry. National Party Sen. Matt Canavan, chair of the Rural and Regional Affairs and Transport References Committee, has noted how Bankwest’s decision was disappointing.

“These closures will impact all the communities that they operate in, reducing banking choice and the ability to get an essential service,” he said.

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