Aussies turning away from cash as businesses go cashless

We’ve always had a fondness for the Australian note currency. After all, it’s colourful, plastic, and less of a hassle than the coins that weigh down our pockets and can be found at the back of the couch. But ask Australians these days and they’ll say cards are where it’s at.

That’s what the findings of at least one survey are saying, as PayPal looks into the way consumers spend, or more specifically how we spend.

This research hasn’t so much been about what we spend on, because that can be divided up in so many ways. No, this one is about the way we’re purchasing things, and as mobile technology and chip-based bank and credit cards start to take over, the research is suggesting that bank notes and the heavy reliance on them — on physical money — is waning.

According to PayPal, half of the thousand Australians surveyed found cash-only organisations were more difficult to do business with, preferring the card-based technologies that are fuelling commerce today, with 3 out of 4 agreeing that a business needs the latest payment technology to grow.

This research has led PayPal to a summary that on average, Australians can save almost four hours per month by using only card-based tap and go technologies instead of cash, which 69 percent of those surveyed say is easier to use than other technologies.

To help with this, PayPal has launched an updated edition of its “Here” device for small businesses, taking last year’s model and upgrading it to be a little more user friendly and made for payment with more than just chip or strip. As such, the new model features the typical slots for the chip and strip, but also a contactless system built in for payment via Tap and Go cards, as well as mobile phones when that functionality rolls out.


The solution is called the PayPal Here Tap and Go card reader, and now features a screen to point out how you can connect with a device like an internet-connected phone or tablet, as well as what sort of money is being triggered by the payment system, acting a bit like a cashier’s LCD screen.

With the product available for small business for $149 (alongside the original reader which still sells for $99), PayPal hopes to get more small business moving beyond the world of cash and onto card payments, making it easier for consumers to hand over their card while also keeping the commerce system friendly for the business-person.

“Consumers now expect the same level of technology from their local market stall as they experience at leading retailers, and that level of expectation can be challenging and expensive for Aussie small businesses,” said Emma Hunt, Director of Small Business at PayPal Australia.

“With the local launch of the new PayPal Here device, we’re hoping to bridge that divide and provide the convenience and choice of payment options for businesses of every size.”


PayPal’s Here devices are available now online and from select electronics and office supply stores, with the Tap and Go edition of the device available for $149, while the basic edition can be found for $99. A PayPal account is required for the Here device to work, as is an app made for iOS and Android-based devices, such as smartphones and tablets.