Big consumer survey reveals Aussies & Kiwis love cash 45% believe cash is COVID-safer than cards

Shops that don’t accept cash deter 40% of shoppers from using them, according to a Next Payments/SurveyPlanet survey of 1,019 Australian and New Zealand based consumers. Results
follow this release.

  • 95 per cent of consumers want to be able choose cash to buy goods and services.
  • 82 per cent of people surveyed consider it “unfair” that some retailers do not provide choice of payments.
  • 74 per cent of Aussies and KIwis are concerned by hidden card payment fees.
  • 77 per cent believe cash is the most reliable payment system.
  • 63 per cent said cash was surcharge-free.
  • 40 per cent answered “Yes” when asked: “Many stores have discouraged the use of cash during COVID-19, does this deter you from visiting them?” (see Q.3 below)
  • 58 per cent of survey respondents find budgeting easier with cash, when compared with cards.
  • Exactly 50 per cent of people have data concerns with digital and card payments.
  • 45 per cent believe cash is safer than cards for payments “given the potential risk of transmission of germs and viruses.

“Cash is not dirty, banks and card companies are profiting from fear,” said Tim Wildash, Chief Executive Officer of leading independent ATM supplier, Next Payments.

“This big survey shows that half of all Aussies and Kiwis are concerned about their transactions data being used in ways they know nothing about.

“I am concerned that banks could use all this extra data they have on to assess, or reassess mortgages and loans,” said Tim Wildash.

“Cash is private but banks, in particular, plus card and payments companies are profiting from my information.

“Not only do the card companies get my data, they charge my an exorbitant fee for each transaction.

“$500 of spending on a card can cost the consumer $8 in credit card fees,” said Tim Wildash

Reserve Bank of Australia documents released under Freedom of Information on the 3 June 2020 show the RBA has investigated the issue of virus transmission and currency and concluded cash poses no significant risk of carrying viruses. Debit and credit cards may carry many more germs than bank notes and coins according to recent American research. The Royal Australian Mint says 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.

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

Market Research – Payment Preferences

Next Payments market research results as at 23 June 2020, 10:00am.
Responses: 1,019 via

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’?

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

Q3 Many stores have discouraged the use of cash during COVID-19, does this deter you from visiting them?


Q4 Do you have privacy or security concerns regarding the trend towards digital or card payments?

Q5 Are you concerned with any hidden fees when using cards?

Q6 In your opinion, what payment method is surcharge free?

Q7 Recognising forms of payment may fail, when making purchases in store what do you consider to be the most reliable form of payment?

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

Q9 The Royal Australian Mint, Reserve Bank of New Zealand, The WHO and medical experts have confirmed that cash is safe to use – there is no evidence that either coins or notes spread COVID-19. Millions of eftpos and tap and go transactions occur each day, 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?

Q10 Finally, can you please let me know what age bracket you sit in?