14 Mar, 2016
Australia is a world leader in the march towards a cashless economy. But our enthusiasm for electronic payments has gifted credit card companies with a crystal ball.
Only a handful of nations make more cashless transactions per person than Australia. The proportion of purchases involving cash slumped from 70 per cent in 2007 to 47 per cent in 2013, a recent Reserve Bank survey found.
This trend has allowed firms that facilitate card payments to track our spending habits like never before. Analysts at the payments giant Mastercard now have so much data, they can sometimes predict our behaviour tomorrow simply by scrutinising our purchasing patterns today.