Australian Newsagency Blog

A blog on issues affecting Australia's newsagents, media and small business generally.

Small business retailers on the mixed messages about the future of cash in Australia

Mark Fletcher
June 26th, 2020 · 5 Comments

Aussie media outlets are reporting that the future of cash is challenged in Australia following the surge in cashless transactions. These stories were strong early in this corona world and then they landed away. This week, the cashless stories have bounced back with several media outlets reporting on this. Here are some of the stories:

Small business retailers talk of mixed messages about cashless. Many talk of customers who are happy with cashless, prefer cashless but who demand cash when people paid a lottery prize. In several cases told to me this week, the same customers who preferred to pay using a card were angry when told that a business didn’t have the hundreds of dollars for lottery prizes because they had not gone to the bank to get more cash.

The challenge is that cash in provided lottery retailers with a cash float for prize payouts. Today, plenty of lottery retailers are having to go to the bank to withdraw cash to cover small prizes. This situation is worse when a lottery game jackpots and the prize passes $20M. The higher the prize the higher the draw on cash for small prize payouts.

Tabcorp is being no help here. The company appears disinterested in supporting small business retailers with a refund to card option being available where a business does not have the cash.

With bank branches closing in plenty of smaller regional towns, the cost of having cash for lottery payouts in this world were is used less is problematic for some lottery retailers.

The disconnect between some businesses and among some considers about cashless makes it a topic worthy of deeper analysis. I think too many news reports on this topic so far this year have been shallow. A deeper dive is needed and along the way companies like Tabcorp need to engage as they have not, so far on this, been small business retailer friendly.


Category: EFTPOS fees · Ethics · Newsagency management · Social responsibility

5 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Graeme Day // Jun 26, 2020 at 7:31 AM

    No problem here, it is is purely a customer one on one situation and can be sorted calmly and with satisfaction for both parties.


  • 2 Bruce H // Jun 26, 2020 at 9:22 AM

    The pandemic is being used by some as a convenient reason why they can’t (don’t want) cash because it is an extra administrative burden on their business. Handling cash is not a problem as long as good, sensible, regular hand sanitising is practised by EVERYONE.


  • 3 Steve // Jun 26, 2020 at 8:08 PM

    I agree Tabcorp need to think strongly about the ever increasing trend towards a cashless society. We impose a minimum eftpos limit of $10 and are amazed about the increasing number of people who don’t even have $2 in cash to pay for their newspaper. Just this week the ATM machine in our shop window was pulled out as the credit union determined that it was no longer profitable to them due to.a decline in use associated with an increase in eftpos facilities following Covid.

    In addition to a payout to card option Tabcorp should consider the effect of rising merchant fees on our already low margin. The banks also need to be accountable for their increasing merchant fee revenue and decreasing branch hours and ATM access. Effectively we the retailer are being charged for the service which was once performed by thousands of bank teller employees.


  • 4 Russell McDonnell // Jun 30, 2020 at 6:20 AM

    As part of their digital in store social distancing campaign, Tatts is encouraging customers to use tap and pay. Retailers don’t have a say inside their own business.


  • 5 Peter // Jun 30, 2020 at 4:41 PM

    Retailers just have to pay the percentage charges fees etc for the pleasure of not dealing with dirty cash and keeping Mr Tatts Lotto happy.


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