Bob Katter’s struggle towards cashless society ramps up

The humiliation of not having sufficient cash in your pocket to make a purchase order is step by step being changed with the embarrassment of not having a debit or bank card to purchase a product as extra institutions change into cashless.

Infamously this week, impartial Queensland MP Bob Katter was fuming after the Parliament Home employees eating room refused to simply accept his $50 notice when he tried to order fish, rice and greens for lunch.

His awkward encounter renewed debate about Australia’s transfer in direction of a cashless society.

Nationwide Seniors Australia chief govt Chris Grice stated bank cards and on-line banking won’t be as handy or potential for a lot of older Australians.

“The transfer to a extra cashless society – and with it the phasing out of cheques, ATM and financial institution closures – has been taking place for a while now,” he advised NCA NewsWire.

“Nevertheless, there are lots of seniors and others who can be tremendously inconvenienced and expertise hardship if money was tough to entry or use.”

Mr Grice famous money was nonetheless a sound type of forex that must be accepted.

“Some seniors will not be comfy banking on-line as a result of they’re not tech savvy, they’re afraid of on-line and bank card scams, money is what they know and it’s their solely technique to make monetary transactions,” he stated.

“Doing any enterprise on-line can include a spread of issues and dangers, from incapability to transact throughout system outages to knowledge breaches.

“The transfer in direction of a cashless society must be made with seniors and others in thoughts.”

In Mr Katter’s case, employees supplied to offer the MP his meal without spending a dime, however the 78-year-old declined.

Mr Katter took the difficulty to parliamentary speaker Milton Dick, who vowed to “instantly” reverse the cashless coverage.

“You probably have a cashless society the banks management your life … you’re not capable of purchase a loaf of bread with out permission from the banks,” Mr Katter stated later.

“It’s dangerous sufficient now and it’ll change into infinitely worse.”

Money was additionally important throughout energy outages in pure disasters corresponding to cyclones, he added.

Mr Katter claimed money was “authorized tender” and couldn’t be refused by companies.

However in accordance with the Australian Competitors and Client Fee, companies may select which cost varieties they accepted.

“It’s authorized for a enterprise to specify the phrases and circumstances that they’ll provide items and companies,” the ACCC says on its web site.

“This contains whether or not they’ll settle for money cost. Nevertheless, shoppers should be made conscious of those phrases and circumstances earlier than they make a purchase order.

“Companies must be clear and upfront in regards to the varieties of funds they settle for and the entire minimal worth payable for his or her items and companies.”

On the flip facet, card surcharges also can anger shoppers.

The ACCC stated there have been guidelines round what companies may embody in calculating surcharge prices.

“If there is no such thing as a means for a shopper to pay with out paying a surcharge, the enterprise should embody the minimal surcharge payable within the displayed worth for its merchandise,” the ACCC stated.

In line with the Australian Banking Affiliation, digital funds on smartphones jumped from $746m in 2018 to greater than $93bn in 2022.

The Commonwealth Financial institution of Australia not too long ago revealed it had shut down greater than one-third of its bodily branches and closed greater than 2000 ATMs over the previous 5 years.

Different banks have additionally closed branches and ATMs lately.

In September final 12 months, Woolworths introduced money withdrawals can be minimize from $500 to $200.

“That is because of the lack of money being utilized in transactions, with nearly all of prospects choosing card-only transactions corresponding to On a regular basis Pay,” a Woolworths spokesperson stated.

In the meantime, the Albanese authorities is taking a look at regulating digital cost wallets, like Google Pay and Apple Pay, in the identical means different cost strategies are managed.

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