Going cashless during the pandemic

I’m seeing a lot more places not accepting cash at the moment. The public transport network in South Australia has gone cashless, encouraging the use of Metrocards instead (fares are cheaper this way anyway) with paper tickets only available from vending machines. Lots of stores are encouraging cashless transactions - something like 60% of transactions in Australia already cashless. The limit on PIN-less contactless payments has been increased from A$100 to A$250 to reduce the situations where a PIN needs to be entered.

Wondering if anyone else is seeing an increased usage of card/cash during the pandemic? Very good thing here as all notes (bills) are polymer-based here so viruses could potentially survive on the surface longer than paper based banknotes.

Personally, I very rarely use cash for transactions anymore.


The only time I need cash are for my barber (doesn’t take credit cards for some reason) and, ahem, another business that’s completely legal here in California and forced to operate on a cash-only basis.

I prefer to use Apple Pay when can. My supermarket, Ralphs (ask Kroger) has a contactless payment system of its own. If I can go through my day without getting my wallet out, I’m a happy man.


It used to be said that Canada was an early adopter for debit card (what we can Interac) purchases. I don’t know that we’re particularly cutting edge any more… but I do know that I have not actually handled cash for a purchase in something more than 5 years. I get cash back when returning beer bottles to be recycled but I throw that in a jar for emergencies.

The downside of the “demergence” of cash is that it gives the government perfect insight into your life. (And it also makes it impossible to “spare change” for panhandlers.)

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Cash is still king here. A lot of shops only accept cash or have only started getting card readers in the last 2 years - and credit cards were a real no-no until recently.

For small transaction (under 50€), a lot of people will still pay cash. I tend to use debit cards above about 20€ these days, although I did pay for my bread rolls for lunch yesterday with my debit card.

Credit cards are still looked at with suspicion. Debt is bad and using a credit card always assumed you were broke and had to use the card (at least in physical shops). It was a dirty secret (“oh, did you see? Mavis bought her groceries with a credit card! Is she having problems?”), but a couple of banks only provide credit cards now and the younger generation are used to using them, so they are slowly gaining acceptance.

The biggest problem with credit cards is that they don’t make much sense, over here. Your credit limit is linked directly to how much you earn (i.e. usually less than your salary), so doesn’t really allow you to make big purchases, unlike my old UK card, which was a multiple of my salary. The other part is, it is automatically paid off in full at the end of the month from your bank account. No discussion.

If you have over spent for the month, the card is cleared 100% and the excess goes on your overdraught on your bank account.

Apart from online shopping, the credit card has very little point in Germany.

I do use the my bank’s app for payments these days as well.

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That’s almost every day for me :slight_smile:

I don’t understand the proprietary contactless systems. Everything is EMV here so Apple Pay and Google Pay is accepted everywhere. I will go for days without using my wallet - payment card in Apple Pay, digital driver’s licence on my phone and the two access cards I use are in my phone case so I don’t even have to take them out :slight_smile:

There are too may fingers in the payments pie here in the US so some merchants take cashless/NFC and others try to push their own system of QR codes or some other nonsense. My kingdom for standards.

I think the US has a pretty high interconnect fee for transactions, which is why there are so many providers wanting a piece of the pie to get a part of that money. Fees are pretty low here in Australia.


Yep seeing that over here as well. Many vendors that are doing curbside pickup won’t take cash.

I’m all for it, I dislike exchanging cash. Maybe we can finally get rid of the penny after all this.

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Australia is seeing a boom for fintech companies right now and open banking will make that even better.

We got rid of the penny here in Canada a few years ago. Thought I would miss it,but it’s great not to have to worry about it. There has been some talk about doing away with the nickel.

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Yeah, smallest denomination here is the 5 cent coin. If you’re paying cash, amount gets rounded.

My bride and myself use to be strictly cash people.Thinking the less the government knows about us the better. But with the pandemic we move over to Apple wallet. Now the only time I pay cash is for home delivery of prescriptions.None of the pharmacy here do credit or mobile interact :neutral_face:

They are talking about doing 1c and 2c here as well, Germany.

I still remember getting 2 Fruit Salads or 2 Mojos for a penny as a kid. But, there again, my weekly pocket money ran to 50p.

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It was the 1p white mice for me :slight_smile:

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It brings back memories of Maynard’s and the old sweet shop at the top of the town.

Stopping in on the way home from school. Fondant cremes, fruit rock, Palmaviolets, space dust… Hedgehog flavoured crisps, which tasted surprisingly like Roast Chicken crips.

Funny that, Marmite flavoured crisps tasted very similar too…


With direct deposit, I rarely ever have cash. I either pay my bills online, or by check thru the mail (I have a few that I must pay with a check, they do not allow online payments).

So, it is a rare day that I even have cash. I also use credit cards to pay for everything, and then pay them off in full at the end of the month.

I occasionally have a purchase I did not make, from some far away state. It is much easier to deal with that if it is a credit card compared to a debit card. On a debit card, it might empty out your bank account, and then other payments bounce. So, I have never even used my debit card. It is locked up in my safe.

Cheques don’t really exist over here. When I first came over in 2002, I asked the bank for a cheque book, but they seemed confused, although they did print me out half a dozen cheques.

I never used them. Everything is done using a transfer slip or the online equivalent, or a debit card* or cash if you are in a physical location.

(*) or contactless payment, such as the banking app on a smartphone.

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We have bpay for bill payment electronically via internet banking, along with direct debits. Transfer to other banks can be done by PayID now, which can be mobile phone number or email address. Transfers in a couple of seconds so there’s very little need for cheques at all. My bank has only just started taking cash and cheque deposits, through the post office as the bank has no branches.

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I think the last time I used cash to any degree was somewhere in mid-2018. Since then I’ve been paying for everything with card payments, contactless whenever under the transaction limit. Transit in London has been contactless (Oyster card and now bank cards) since 2003.