Commbank outage shows Australians need to carry cash

Commonwealth Bank’s devastating computer system failure affecting Netbank, the Commbank app, credit and debit cards and merchant payment systems demonstrates the extreme dangers of
a cashless society.

Commbank acknowledged a problem yesterday about lunchtime and the issue is not yet completely resolved (at 9pm).

“Millions of Australians have been left stranded by Australia’s biggest bank’s failure to provide working card payment services,” said Tim Wildash, Chief Executive Officer of leading independent ATM supplier, Next Payments.

“On the first Monday of the new financial year, Commonwealth Bank has underlined the need for all Australians to carry cash, just in case.

“If you don’t have cash in your pocket, you are at risk of being left stranded by bank system outages like this,” said Tim Wildash.

“If retailers don’t carry cash and accept cash payments they can lose a day of takings.

“The Australian financial system and economy are weaker without ready availability of cash,” said Mr Wildash.

“Cash is safe, reliable, private and has no hidden fees or merchant surcharges.

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 / twildash@nextpayments.com.au
New Zealand: Craig Whale +64 21 440 683 / cwhale@nextpayments.co.nz
Jason Bryce, Journalist – +61 428 777 727 / media@nextpayments.com.au