Macquarie Bank to go ‘fully digital’ and ditch cash within days – what you need to know

A major Australian bank will ditch cash and cheques at all its offices within days as the organisation goes ‘fully digital’. 

Macquarie Bank customers will be unable to access over-the-counter services, deposit or collect cheques or order new chequebooks from Monday.

The bank announced it was planning to make the move in May last year, revealing the decision had been made due to a change in customer habits. 

From November 1, customers will not be able to write or deposit personal cheques, deposit or request bank cheques, deposit cash or cheques over the counter at NAB branches or make super contributions or payments via cheque. 

Macquarie, unlike the ‘big four’ banks; Westpac, NAB, Commonwealth Bank and ANZ, does not have a traditional branch network, and the changes affect its three offices in Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne. 

From May 20, Macquarie Bank’s (pictured) customers will no longer be able to access over the counter services, such as depositing cash

For those who have a Macquarie Transaction or Offset account with a Macquarie Debit Mastercard, cash will still be able to be withdrawn at an ATM. 

To prepare for the phasing out of the cash and cheque services, businesses will need to make sure everyone they deal with has the option of digital transactions, reported 7 News.

‘If your payers, clients, and other businesses you work with aren’t set up to pay you digitally, please prompt them to get started now,’ Macquarie Bank said in a statement.

Its automated telephone banking service was already phased out in March, with clients no longer able to make payments over the phone.

The move has been criticised for not being inclusive, as it could affect how some community members access banking and and those who rely on non-digital services, such as the elderly.

A Macquarie Bank spokesman said last year in a statement the bank is committed to being completely digital because it is ‘safer, faster and convenient’.

Customers who have a Macquarie Transaction or Offset account with a debit Mastercard will still be able to take out cash at ATM's

Customers who have a Macquarie Transaction or Offset account with a debit Mastercard will still be able to take out cash at ATM’s

‘The majority of our customers already bank digitally and we’re working very closely to support the less than 1 per cent of our customers who currently use cheques or cash to ensure they have access to other digital payment methods,’ he said.

The shift to being solely digital comes as other major Aussie banks move into having a more digital focus.

Cheques have already started to be phased out at ANZ, Commonwealth Bank and NAB.

Bankwest is transitioning into a digital bank this year, and the bank will be closing 45 branches in Western Australia by October.

Even though the bank faced backlash over the move, it said the decision was influenced by customers’ preferences – a whopping 97 per cent of transactions were already completed digitally.

Less than 2 per cent of their customer base visit a branch on a regular basis.