The growing optimism of the industry continues to show as the vaccine rollout provides greater certainty and direction. With current predictions pointing to full vaccination by October 2021 the importance of planning to fully utilise the opportunities that await cannot be understated.
It is also very reassuring to see more voices calling for payment choice and pushing back against the anti-cash agenda. An increasing number of businesses are promoting that they use cash and ATMIA is in contact with other associations and chambers to promote the importance of payment choice. This was seen in a recent statement by Paul Zara from the Australian Retailers Association, who stated on 22/2:
So many retailers are investing heavily in delivering a great experience, particularly during COVID-19. But at the end of the day, if you are not letting your customers close-out their transactions the way they want, all of this can be in vain. It’s why the Australian Retailers Association is calling on businesses to offer payment choice, especially as we do all we can to re-build an even more resilient sector in 2021,” Paul said.
The importance of cash has also been shown in a report released by ASIC late last year, which drew attention to the serious issues presented by cashless, buy now pay later companies. ASIC found twenty-one percent of buy now pay later customers had missed a payment. Twenty percent cut back or went without essentials because they'd overspent. Twenty percent missed other major bills including household payments and mortgages. Fifteen percent had to take out additional loans to make ends meet. And of those who were in financial trouble, fifty-two percent had more than one account.
This all drives home one of the key advantages of cash: you can easily budget and avoid overspending, because when cash is gone, it's gone.
Earlier this month, Woolworths acknowledged the issues in going fully cashless: backflipping on its decision to make a number of stores cashless. This underscores the importance of cash as a payment method and serves as a valuable lesson to retailers everywhere: go cashless and you will face negative consequences.
A gentle reminder for the following, the "Save Cash" petition is still open for signing. Please click here to have your voice heard.
Also, our upcoming webinar on Next-Gen ATM Certification Journey to be held on 24th March. This is a free service to our members and we encourage you all, to take some time out and join this forum. To register click here
Have no doubt, ATMIA will continue to serve our members and advocate for cash to remain an integral part of the Australian Payment System. We thank you all for your continual support, lets continue to work together to ensure the future of this industry for decades to come.