Consumers Lose a Bar of Gold Every Year by Using Cash!

Consumers across the region are losing a dollar per day, the equivalent of which (per year) is the cost of 6.5 grams of gold

Australia, March 4, 2013 - Results from the Visa Payment Attitudes Study show that Australians lose an average of AUD$354 every year because of cash left forgotten in the house or car, or unused foreign currency from a holiday or business trip.

The amount Australians lose is slightly below the average US$365 found in the survey. However, this seemingly small amount that averages one US dollar a day is actually the equivalent of the cost of 6.5 grams of gold or supporting a family of four in Bangladesh for a year!

Busy lifestyles mean consumers often lose track of the little things around them – such as loose change. They are leaving an average of AUD$78 lying around in cars, homes and offices unclaimed at any one time. Among all the surveyed markets, the Japanese have an astounding AUD$330 in loose change just lying around forgotten and unused. Indonesians are the most frugal leaving only AUD$21 lying around at any one time.

Returning home from vacation with a pocket full of coins and foreign notes is also a common occurrence. According to the study, people are bringing home on average AUD$279 in unused foreign currency . Singaporeans are bringing back a whopping AUD$613 in their pockets. They could take a lesson or two from the Indonesians, South Koreans and Taiwanese, who are the savviest at using up their funds bringing back only AUD$1 in unused currency. While most will keep the remaining cash for future use, about 1 in 5 will give it away or just forget about the leftover cash.

“Keeping track of cash can be a hassle, especially with today’s busy – and increasingly globe-trotting - lifestyle.  At the same time, people need a secure place to store their funds that they can access anytime, anywhere. We’ve long known that carrying cash can be inconvenient and unreliable, and we now know from this research that consumers are out of pocket by using cash too,” explains Vipin Kalra, Visa’s Australia country manager.

“Keeping tabs on their hard-earned money and worrying about carrying cash around is a concern for people in the region too,” Mr. Kalra continues, “the majority of respondents (54 percent) said the key reason they have a debit card is because it is convenient to carry around, rather than having a large amount of cash. They also have a debit card to keep their finances in check, with over half (53 percent) saying it is good for smart financial management as they know that the payment is debited directly from their regular bank account.”

According to one survey respondent using a debit card provides peace of mind: “On one hand, I pay all my bills using my debit card while on the other hand I also use it to instantly buy concert tickets and movie tickets online. However, the biggest advantage for me is that I am in full control of my finances.”

The study results showed that, on average, consumers in the region own two debit cards, but it also revealed that awareness for using debit cards abroad is low, with only 42 percent being aware that they can be used around the world. However debits cards, and in particular Visa debit cards, are widely accepted across the globe and can be used in-store, for shopping online and even - for that purchase that really needs cash - for withdrawing cash from foreign ATMs.

Responding to the study, one Japanese businessman recalls a recent trip: “Once, on a business trip abroad, I mistakenly put my money and credit cards into my suitcase and gave it to the check-in counter. By the time I realized, it was too late and with the small change I had I couldn't even buy a sandwich. At a loss I rummaged through my passport case and came across a debit card that I hardly ever used. With that card I was able to buy a meal, a beer, and even a magazine before my flight – making it a much more pleasant trip than it might have been!”

For more information on Visa and Visa Debit cards, visit


Appendix: Country figures across Asia Pacific, Central Europe, Middle East and Africa




















































Exchange rate USD $1 = AUD $0.98

Media Contact:
Andrew Craig


About Visa

Visa is a global payments technology company that connects consumers, businesses, financial institutions and governments in more than 200 countries and territories to fast, secure and reliable electronic payments. We operate one of the world’s most advanced processing networks—VisaNet—that is capable of handling more than 24,000 transaction messages a second, with fraud protection for consumers and guaranteed payment for merchants. Visa is not a bank and does not issue cards, extend credit or set rates and fees for consumers. Visa’s innovations, however, enable its financial institution customers to offer consumers more choices: pay now with debit, ahead of time with prepaid or later with credit products. For more information, visit