Nov 19, 2016 by

Citibank branch in Sydney, Australia (Source: Getty)

Up is down and down is up. We are now living in a bizarre era when a bank will refuse to take cash.

Citibank Australia has become the first Australian bank to go completely cashless, notifying customers that its branches will no longer handle notes and coins from November 24.

“We have seen a steady decline in the demand for cash services in our branches — in fact less than 4% of Citi customers have used this service in the last 12 months,” said Citibank head of retail bank Janine Copelin.

“This move to cashless branches reflects Citi’s commitment to digital banking and we are investing in the channels our customers prefer to use.”

Copelin said that the move is not a precursor to branch closures.

“While the number of customers visiting our branches to access cash handling services has fallen, the branch network remains an important component of how we serve our high-net worth customers,” she said.

The Nordic countries lead the way in the move to a cashless society. The Guardian reported in June that 900 of 1600 Sweden’s bank branches do not accept cash. In Iceland, curbside hotdog carts accept credit cards.

In an email to customers, Citibank stated that “cheque requests and other teller services” will continue at Citibank branches. Customers are now directed to ATMs and Australia Post branches (with Bank@Post and PostBillPay capabilities) for cash transactions.

Deposit and mortgage account clients can also use National Australia Bank branches for cash services. Citibank’s agreement with Westpac to provide customers with fee-free usage of Westpac Group ATMs also remains in place.

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