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The dangers of the cashless society

paying with cash when eftpos not working

From a personal point of view, I like to pay with cash when I go out for coffee or to dance to live music. Some of the change goes into the tip box on principle. People working in hospitality are generally casual, are working 3 or 4 shifts a week, are on a relatively low hourly rate, and struggle to earn a living wage. Their tips have fallen dramatically since Covid, when everyone started paying with cards for everything.

The ATO has access to my bank account transactions. Who else does? What if the ATO gets hacked?
I note that if you use a card to pay tax to the ATO, the ATO adds transaction fees to your tax bill! Whilst cards are convenient, the costs to the merchants are going up as part of bank greed. In my view, it won't be long before they start charging consumers as well as merchants.

There is a great website which outlines the case for retaining cash. ( opens in a new window).

There are two main reasons I prefer people to pay with PayID or cash:

These are some of the reasons I support cash, taken from the website:


Tech companies have invested heavily in making electronic transactions secure but hackers are always one step ahead. In a world of 100% electronic payments, the risk of falling victim to fraud rises significantly.

If cash dies, your location and purchases will be tracked automatically. You won't be able to opt out or unsubscribe.

If you are on any government funding whatsoever, they could restrict you from spending that money on certain things that the government does not condone.

Cash allows you to make anonymous purchases or donations. If cash dies, there will be no such thing.

Cash makes it easier to give to buskers or homeless or for tipping in hospitality

People in abusive situations are often financially reliant on their abuser. If cash is removed, their way out will be that much harder or close to impossible.

Elderly, blind and people with disabilities will struggle. Many people can't or don't know how to use technology. They would also be vulnerable to scams and other technological difficulties.

The above points are from the Keep Cash Alive website: However, I would like to make an additional point:

When paying cash, you know exactly how much you are spending!!!!

When paying for drinks in a crowded pub, you swipe your card and you have absolutely no idea what the round of drinks cost. Until you look at your bank account. If you pay with cash, they have to tell you the exact amount, and if it doesn't feel right, such as you suspect you are being overcharged, you can query the bill.
I believe that the quest for value for money is being diminished. People just tap their cards, a convenient way of completing the transaction, but often people just swipe the card, do not ask for a receipt, and could well have been charged an incorrect amount.


We will be reliant on technology every day. If you want access to funds, you will need the latest devices and software to enable payments. If you are not a very tech savvy person, this could become a big problem. It is also extremely expensive and inconceivable for some households.

You won't be able to leave your home without some sort of device.

Cash protects you from being at the mercy of electronic forms of payments during power outages and looming high energy costs.

Optus recently highlighted the importance of carrying some emergency cash with you at all times. Expect the unexpected! Many businesses could only accept orders from people with cash during the Optus outage when their EFTPOS machines were down, the trains stopped, hospitals were impacted and many people could not even make triple zero calls.

reasons for retaining cash

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