Unpopular opinion: “I’m in support of a cashless society.”

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Once upon a time on a stinking hot day at Bondi beach, I decided to copy every other pseudo-hipster-health-nut in the vicinity and get myself a green juice.

Not a momentous or difficult task, you would assume. Not a mission so impossible it would leave me in a state of near exhaustion, you would think. But you would be wrong.

After locating a suitable vendor I placed my order and handed over my card only to be greeted with one of the most frustrating phrases ever uttered.

“Oh, we’re cash only.”

Oh, so you won’t take my valid form of currency to purchase your exorbitantly priced juice that will ultimately pay your rent? Fine I’ll take my moolah elsewhere, I thought. Your. Loss.

But no, metres and metres of walking to two other stores and I was faced with the same dilemma. Cash only.

How is it possible that in this technologically advanced day and age, I am not able to flood my meagre Instagram following with #cleaneating updates just because of my chosen method of payment?!

It’s well and truly a first world problem, I know. But it began my noble crusade to bring about a cashless society. Because we all deserve to be able to purchase a coffee — without having to throw in a muffin to reach the “EFTPOS minimum”.

A lack of cash could have prevented Lauren from enjoying these treats, #neveragain. Image via Instagram @laurenwilly.

And trust me I’m not without some very valid reasons that are definitely not incredibly generalised and based on my own personal vendetta.



Paying with card is quicker and easier for the customer.

Let’s start with a little self-centredness shall we? Paying on card is so much easier for me us customers. You hand over your card, in most cases it’s just a single tap against the machine, and then you’re done. No tracking down an ATM, no counting coins and no fumbling with change.

It’s also easier for the cashier.

Try working in a coffee shop and getting customers in as the doors open, all giving you fifty dollar notes in succession. When the till is devoid of notes and you’re handing out change in five cents pieces, you’ll quickly come to prefer people paying with card. Oh and never counting a final float ever again, now that would be the cherry on top.

cashless society
No money, no problem. Image via iStock.

It’s better for business.

I know, I get it – businesses get charged for each credit or EFTPOS transaction but isn’t that small fee worth it if it guarantees a purchase? If I walk into an establishment that’s cash only with nothing but my card on me, almost 100 per cent of the time I won’t bother finding an ATM, I’ll just take my business elsewhere. My own anecdotal evidence isn’t the only thing supporting this point.  A 2014 survey by found that more than one in four Australians would walk out of a store and never return if they couldn’t pay on the spot.

You can easily track your spending.

It always feels like when you have cash on you, you spend it way faster without even realising where it all went. But thanks to the magic of the Internet, you can see all of your previous transactions you made on your card whether you actually want to or not.

cashless society
There are so many apps to manage your funds too. Image via iStock.

It’s safer.

When you’re only carrying plastic in your wallet and it gets lost or stolen it’s a fairly simple process to just cancel the cards. But if you’re carrying around a wad of cash there’s no getting it back.

As my fellow cashless society supporter can attest, “Once I had my wallet stolen the week after my 21st and it had $500 cash in it. If that had been in my account — boom — could have just cancelled it, but no the cash just disappeared.”

Money is dirty.

A quick Google search will tell you that money can reportedly carry more germs than a household toilet. So if that’s not enough to make you switch to card then nothing is.

It’s the way of the future.

Take Kensington St in Sydney – it’s one of the first streets in the world to go completely cashless. Embrace it people, it’s happening whether you like it or not.

Are you in favour of a cashless society?