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How coronavirus will kill cash and force street musicians to make tap and go payments instead of coins in hat

How street musicians are forced to set up tap-and-go machines to replace money and coins during the coronavirus pandemic

  • Buskers say to set up tap and go payments to replace coins and bills
  • Even before COVID-19, cash accounted for less than a third of personal transactions
  • University of Sydney expert wondered if banknotes should be printed

Coronavirus appears to be hastening the demise of money and forcing street musicians to ask passing spectators for tap-and-go payments.

Even before the start of COVID-19, banknotes made up less than a third of personal transactions.

The pandemic has seen the supermarket giants and many smaller shops forbid cash, and street musicians aren’t immune to those trends, with some test-running new payment wave systems.

Sydney street musician Gary Bradbury, a saxophonist, said he should set up an electronic payment system to throw coins and smaller banknotes in a hat.

“I’m thinking about getting EFTPOS facilities myself,” he told the ABC program at 7:30 am.

Coronavirus appears to be hastening the demise of money and forcing street musicians to ask passing spectators for tap-and-go payments. Pictured is Sydney street musician Gary Bradbury

Coronavirus appears to be hastening the demise of money and forcing street musicians to ask passing spectators for tap-and-go payments. Pictured is Sydney street musician Gary Bradbury

“I’m sure this is the next step, the next technological step for street musicians, otherwise there is no way to make money.”

In November 2019, two months before the first case of coronavirus was confirmed in Australia, cash payments made up only 32 percent of personal transactions, compared to 43 percent in 2016, separate Reserve Bank data shown.

Ten years ago, cash payments made up more than half of over-the-counter transactions in Australia when EFTPOS, or point-of-sale wire transfer, required customers to manually swipe their cards.

Information technology professor Kai Reimer, of the University of Sydney Business School, said COVID-19 was likely to accelerate this decline in cash transactions.

“We can safely assume that it dropped much, much further during COVID-19,” he told the ABC.

“We will be approaching low, double digits soon, which then at some point raises the question for the government:” Is it still worth maintaining the entire cash register system that is costly to run? ‘

Even before the start of COVID-19, banknotes made up less than a third of personal transactions. Depicted is a payment system for street musicians that was tested in Melbourne in 2018

Even before the start of COVID-19, banknotes made up less than a third of personal transactions. Depicted is a payment system for street musicians that was tested in Melbourne in 2018

Even before the start of COVID-19, banknotes made up less than a third of personal transactions. Depicted is a payment system for street musicians that was tested in Melbourne in 2018

The pandemic has seen the supermarket giants and many smaller shops forbid cash, and buskers aren't immune to those trends, with some tried and tested new pay-wave systems, like the one in Melbourne pictured

The pandemic has seen the supermarket giants and many smaller shops forbid cash, and buskers aren't immune to those trends, with some tried and tested new pay-wave systems, like the one in Melbourne pictured

The pandemic has seen the supermarket giants and many smaller shops forbid cash, and buskers aren’t immune to those trends, with some tried and tested new pay-wave systems, like the one in Melbourne pictured

The Reserve Bank’s Note Printing Australia subsidiary has not closed during the COVID-19 pandemic, and money production continues in north Melbourne’s Craigieburn

In March, when the World Health Organization declared a COVID-19 pandemic, Commonwealth Bank’s digital wallet payments soared past $ 1 billion, up 17 percent from February’s $ 884 million.

Customers of Australia’s largest bank spent an average of $ 28 on each transaction through an app that allowed them to perform tap-and-go debit and credit card transactions on their smartphone.

Nonetheless, the death of cash could be exaggerated with demand for $ 50 and $ 100 notes growing at the fastest rate in 11 years, the Reserve Bank of Australia revealed last week. CommSec chief economist Craig James said consumers preferred to have cash on hand during a crisis

Nonetheless, the death of cash could be exaggerated with demand for $ 50 and $ 100 notes growing at the fastest rate in 11 years, the Reserve Bank of Australia revealed last week. CommSec chief economist Craig James said consumers preferred to have cash on hand during a crisis

Nonetheless, the death of cash could be exaggerated with demand for $ 50 and $ 100 notes growing at the fastest rate in 11 years, the Reserve Bank of Australia revealed last week. CommSec chief economist Craig James said consumers preferred to have cash on hand during a crisis

Kate Crous, Commonwealth Bank’s general manager of digital banking, said traders were concerned that money was contaminated with germs during the pandemic.

Nonetheless, the death of cash could be exaggerated with demand for $ 50 and $ 100 notes growing at the fastest rate in 11 years, the Reserve Bank of Australia revealed last week.

CommSec chief economist Craig James said consumers preferred to have cash on hand during a crisis.

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