Does Covid-19 spell the end of Australia's cash economy?
Does Covid-19 spell the end of Australia's cash economy?

POLL: Do you agree Australia should go cash-free?

ATM suppliers hit by the pandemic are calling for cash to remain an acceptable payment for goods and services.

Many retailers have gone cash-free over hygiene concerns, only allowing card transactions, in particular payWave.

However independent ATM supplier Tim Wildash said there was no evidence Covid-19 had been transmitted via cash.

"Cash is surcharge-free and essential for our economy," said Mr Wildash, chief executive of Next Payments.

"Card companies are raking in billions of dollars in fees and charges from cashless payments. 

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"Fear of Covid-19 should not be used to increase profits while the world fights this invisible enemy.

"Cash is safe, free of hidden fees and needs to be widely accepted by retailers to ensure that all Australians can meaningfully participate in the economy.

It is uncertain when many retailers will continue to accept cash for purchases.
It is uncertain when many retailers will continue to accept cash for purchases.

"And, importantly, cash does not suffer from the regular 'outages' that impact online banking systems and EFTPOS networks."

The Reserve Bank of Australia's head of payments policy Tony Richards told the Sunday Herald Sun that merchants should accept some form of payment that is not surcharged.

Mr Wildash said his company had issued advice to ATM owners and venue operators on keeping their machines clean and disease free.

"In contrast, EFTPOS terminals can be touched by hundreds of shoppers per day to make card transactions, to enter their PIN if required and select their account," he said.

"Coronavirus panic must not lead to shops and businesses refusing to accept cash, which is safe, flexible and private.

"I'm concerned that large card companies and banks are profiting from fear of this coronavirus."

Transactions via Paywave have skyrocketed in Australia in 2020 due to coronavirus.
Transactions via Paywave have skyrocketed in Australia in 2020 due to coronavirus. Emma Reid


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