Australians have issued warnings of a completely cashless society following a major outage at telecommunications giant Optus.
Optus is experiencing one of the largest outages in Australian history, affecting millions of customers, as well as hospitals and businesses.
The outage was first reported at 4am on Wednesday, with Optus mobile users saying they were unable to make or receive calls or texts, with internet and home broadband also down. breakdown.
Optus users in Brisbane, Perth, Sydney, Melbourne, the ACT, Tasmania and Adelaide have all reported a network outage.
Australians have flooded the internet with comments warning of a completely cashless society as the outage affects online activities such as internet banking.
Optus experiences one of the biggest outages in Australian history
Australians have taken to the internet to voice their concerns about a cashless society.
“#Optus Outage should give you reason enough why we as a country should never go entirely cashless,” reads an article on X.
“Imagine there is cashless in our country and we have no internet access due to an outage, we are doomed #optus,” said another.
“This morning’s #Optus outage is exactly why we can’t go cashless,” read a third message.
“When the phones are broken, how are people going to pay for things? Anyone who says we need to go cashless needs to STFU.
While another warned: “With the Optus outage this morning and these stupid people wanting a cashless society… think about it, no phones, zero purchases.”
Businesses across the country have been forced to offer cash-only sales in their stores, with some EFTPOS machines broken.
Other operators that use the Optus mobile network like Amaysim, Vaya, Aussie Broadband, Moose Mobile, Coles Mobile, Spintel, Southern Phone and Dodo Mobile are also down.
The telecommunications operator said it was aware of issues affecting some customers, but had not yet explained the system outage.
“Optus is aware of an issue that may impact some of our mobile and internet customers,” a spokesperson said.
“We are currently working to identify the cause and apologize for any inconvenience.
“In the event of an emergency, customers can always call 000.”
Businesses across the country have been forced to offer cash-only sales in their stores.
An article on X expressing concern about the implications of a completely cashless society
Another article expressing concern about Australia’s transition to a cashless society
Melbourne’s rail network was also closed earlier on Wednesday, leaving many travelers stranded.
This is believed to be due to the Optus outage.
Metro Trains has since confirmed services have resumed, but significant delays are expected.
The outage follows recent warnings that Australia could become a cashless society sooner than expected, with note orders from major banks plunging to a new low.
The Reserve Bank, a wholesale distributor of bank notes, revealed last month that cash orders from commercial banks in the last financial year were only a third of the usual annual level.
“The use of cash for everyday transactions has been in decline for many years as consumers turn to digital payment alternatives,” it says.
An Adelaide cafe was only able to offer its customers cash sales on Wednesday because its EFTPOS machine was down due to a fault.
The Reserve Bank revealed last month that liquidity orders from commercial banks in the last financial year were only a third of the usual annual level.