A cash advocate has revealed how card payments are setting back businesses and customers, while warning of a cashless society in Australia.
Cash Welcome campaign coordinator Jason Bryce claimed EFTPOS machines cost businesses thousands of dollars a year due to monthly fees and surcharges.
Mr. Bryce calculated that each machine cost a business about $200 a month, with some using many machines to process payments.
Speaking outside Footscray Donuts and Coffee in Melbourne’s west, Mr Bryce said the costs were adding up for small businesses.
“It costs thousands of dollars a month for a standard business like this, a coffee shop behind me, to accept card payments,” he told Sunrise on Tuesday.
Prominent cash advocate Jason Bryce (pictured) has revealed that EFTPOS machines are costing businesses “thousands”.
“And if your volume goes down, your fees go up. Whatever happens, the bank or the telephone company, the telephone operator, cuts the ticket along the way.
“Of course, many people like to tap and go, but there are times when we all need to use cash and some people use cash every day.”
Customers also often pay a little more, with some companies passing on the extra costs to them.
Mr Bryce has been at the forefront of the cash movement after his bank and local supermarket refused all cash payments during the Covid-19 pandemic.
Cash transactions have declined significantly since the pandemic, with some businesses and bank branches continuing not to deal in physical currency and leaving fighters without their preferred payment.
Mr Bryce said businesses “need to be able to accept cash”, would it not be for Australia’s sake but for their own, with transaction and monthly fees costing “thousands”.
He said people are using cash to budget and save money at a time when rising interest rates are causing Australians to tighten their spending.
“(Cash) is just getting too hard to get, bank branches are closing, ATMs are closing and as soon as there’s an outage we’re stuck,” Mr Bryce said.
“Our economy is no longer inclusive.
“Without cash, our economy is weaker because retailers and consumers are more vulnerable to computer outages, banking system failures and even online criminals.”
Mr Bryce described last week’s Optus outage as a “big wake-up call” for Australian businesses and customers to turn to cash.
Mr Bryce said each EFTPOS machine costs a business around $200 a month in monthly fees and transaction fees that would be avoided through cash payments (stock image).
Business owners across the country were left without reception and broadband last Wednesday after an outage hit the telecommunications giant.
Network companies reported having problems communicating with customers, with some having to close for the day.
Mt Druitt service center ANZCO Automotive has told customers it will likely close shop for the day.
“At the moment we will not operate. Due to this outage, our entire system is not working,” the business owners said.
Stewy the Snake Catcher, on the Gold Coast, informed his online followers he was affected by the widespread outage.
“We are aware of a major outage on the Optus network, and I am at Optus myself,” he wrote.
“We apologize in advance if you are trying to contact us this morning and are having difficulty. I hope they resolve the issue as soon as possible.
Other businesses, like Argo on the Square and Delish in Adelaide, have been forced to return to cash-only transactions.
The movement defends the right to use cash when making in-person transactions, even though many businesses have gone ‘cashless’ during the Covid-19 pandemic hangover (file image)
A petition created by Mr Bryce calling on businesses and banks to support cash payments has been signed by 150,000 people since March.
The petition calls for Australians to be able to “have reasonable local access to cash and comprehensive banking services”, and “choose cash when paying for food and essentials at local physical retailers.”
“We will win this war on money, if we can continue, by pushing governments to protect our rights,” the petition reads.
“Other countries are protecting species and Australia must follow.”
Australia lags behind the United Kingdom, the European Union and the United States, all of which have passed legislation protecting those who use cash.
“We need to be able to choose how we pay for things, whether it’s through tapping or cash,” Mr. Bryce said.