Aussies & Kiwis demand the right to use cash

Ninety-two per cent of Australian consumers want to keep the right to pay for goods and services with cash.

More than three-quarters of Australians think it’s unfair for retailers to ban cash payments according to recent market research by Next Payments, Australia’s leading independent ATM network.

63 per cent of consumers say they are discouraged from shopping at retailers that do not accept cash.

66 per cent say they are concerned about hidden card fees while 72 per cent say cash is the most reliable form of payment according to the survey of 250 Australians conducted in April in all states.

The survey also reveals some misconceptions about payment surcharges. 59 per cent of respondents correctly believe that cash is surcharge-free. However, 27% believe debit cards are surcharge-free and 8% believe credit cards are not surcharged by merchants. Merchants pay bank fees and charges on both debit and credit card transactions and these may be passed on to consumers, often directly.

“Consumers don’t want their right to pay with cash taken away,” said Tim Wildash, Chief Executive Officer of Next Payments, Australia and New Zealand’s leading independent ATM supplier.

“Cash is not unsafe, the World Health Organisation and the Australian Mint have confirmed that and Aussies don’t want to lose cash.

“Cash is reliable, free, private and flexible. Cash is used by the old, the young and the 500,000 Australians who do not even have a debit card.

“Mastercard, Visa and the banks are raking in increased revenue from transaction fees while many Australians risk being left behind,” said Tim Wildash.

New Zealanders rushed back to cash when social distancing restrictions were partially lifted two weeks ago. Next Payment’s network of 624 ATMs in convenience locations and venues in New Zealand handled one month’s worth of withdrawals in three days from 21 May.

“Despite ongoing restrictions limiting the numbers of customers allowed in venues, cash withdrawals jumped up to unprecedented levels as soon as restrictions eased,” said Mr Wildash.

“Kiwis voted with their dollars and rushed back to cash.”

“Cash is safe, flexible and private,” said Tim Wildash, “I’m concerned that large card companies and banks are profiting from fear.”

There is no evidence linking cash to the transmission of COVID-19.

Cash is sanitised before being delivered by cash companies to venues and ATM operators.

Next Payments has issued advice to ATM owners and venue operators about how to ensure their cash machines remain clean and disease free.

For more comments, interview or information:
Tim Wildash – +61 418 336 599 /
Jason Bryce, Journalist – +61 428 777 727 /
New Zealand: Craig Whale +64 21 440 683 /



Q1: Do you agree or disagree with the following statement, ‘I would like the freedom of choice to use cash or card to pay for goods and services’? Do you Agree or Disagree?

Q2: Do you consider it fair or unfair that some retailers do not provide consumers a choice of payment methods? Fair or Unfair?

Q3: Many stores have discouraged the use of cash during COVID-19, does this deter you from visiting them? Yes or No?

Q4: Do you have privacy or security concerns regarding the trend towards digital or card payments? Yes or No?

Q5: Are you concerned with any hidden fees when using cards? Yes or No?

Q6: In your opinion, what payment method is surcharge free? Credit card, debit card, paper cheque or cash?

Q7: Recognising forms of payment may fail, when making purchases in store what do you consider to be the most reliable form of payment? Credit card, debit card, paper cheque or cash?


Q8: Do you consider it easier to budget with cash or card? Cash or Card?

Q9: The Royal Australian Mint has said, “medical experts have confirmed that cash, including coins is safe to use – there is no evidence that either coins or cash spread COVID-19.” Millions of eftpos and tap and go transactions occur each day in Australia, where consumers, one after another, tap their payment card and touch buttons on the same eftpos terminal.

Given the potential risk of transmission of germs and viruses, which out of cash or card do you consider to be a safer form of making payments? Cash or Card?

Q10 Finally, can you please indicate your age bracket? Summary of Respondents:

  • 250 respondents total
  • Respondents randomly selected from each Australian State and Territory