A string of supermarkets and stores in Geraldton and Carnarvon have put up signs advising customers against handing over cash that has been stored in their underwear.
Vicki Brand erected a sign at a delicatessen in Bluff Point in Geraldton and said it was common for women to extract sweaty money from their bra.
She said business conditions were tough and she did not want to turn customers away but the practice of keeping cash in underwear was unhygienic.
“I don’t know where the law sits on that sort of thing but I just think it’s a matter of respect,” she said.
“It’s also a hygiene thing.”
The sign at the Mid West deli has had limited success and Ms Brand said they always kept a bottle of antibacterial hand wash close to the register.
“We are not terribly strict with it because … you know, we like the sales of course,” she said.
“But people that are aware of it will pull the money out of their bra before they walk in the shop.”
The move to discourage people from paying for goods with money kept in their underwear has upset some customers in the region in the past.
The manager of a retail store in Geraldton, who did not wish to be named, said the cash-carrying method was “extremely common”.
Retailers within rights to reject sweaty cash
Executive director of the Australian Retailers Association Russell Zimmerman said it was the first time he had heard about the issue, but businesses had every right to reject sweaty cash and make their views known.
“If you’re not going to accept people’s cash from their underwear, and I can understand the health issues around it, then make a clear sign in your store making sure that the customer understands not to pull cash directly out from their underwear,” he said.
Mr Zimmerman said retailers could rightfully choose not to accept notes and coins as long as there was clear signage.
“I think what you’ve got to realise is that from a customer’s point of view, it can be a health issue for staff,” he said.
“You can understand staff not wanting to take it, so perhaps it probably would be advisable for customers to rethink that through before they actually do it.”
This post originally appeared on ABC Online.