Woolworths Metro cashless trial to expand in coming weeks

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More Woolworths stores across Melbourne and Sydney will no longer be accepting cash as the supermarket giant expands its trial of cashless Metro stores.

Nine Metro stores, including those on Bourke and Elizabeth Streets in Melbourne, and North Sydney, Manly and York Street in Sydney will no longer accept notes or coins.

From today, the same goes for stores in Yarraville and Caulfield North in Melbourne and Roseberry in Sydney.

The trial aims to limit staff and customer interaction and will help CBD customers shop more efficiently.

While Woolworths is happy with the initial trial, its sentiments aren’t shared across the board, with some shoppers calling for a boycott of the chain.

Some Sydney shoppers who were unaware of the change had to travel to three different stores before finding one that would accept cash.

Some say it is discriminatory towards those who still use cash, such as older Australians, while others feel it’s an invasion of privacy, fearing the store will track and sell purchase data.

According to a Smart Company report, a Woolworths spokeswoman said the stores were already seeing far fewer cash transactions, but that customer feedback would be “closely monitored” during the trial.

“As more and more customers choose to pay with cards, we’re trialling all electronic payments in a small selection of Metro stores which currently see very few cash transactions,” she said, adding that the majority of customers welcomed the change.

“We understand cash remains an important payment option for many of our customers and it continues to be offered in all Woolworths supermarkets and the majority of our Metro stores.

“We will closely monitor the feedback from our customers during this trial.”

During the COVID-19 crisis, there has been an increased take-up of contactless payments, with many small businesses switching to card-only practices very early in the pandemic.

Coles and Woolworths and their subsidiaries have increased their upper limit for contactless payment to $200, to encourage shoppers to convert to more hygienic payment methods.

The limits was initially meant to last three months, but the Australian Payments Network (APN) is seeing industry support for an increased limit of $200 for all contactless payments.

“The increased limit is a pragmatic and important response to a changing environment,” said APN chief Andy White.

“Consumers are tending to buy more, less often.

“The new $200 contactless limit will mean fewer consumers need to touch the payment terminal.”

According to the Reserve Bank of Australia’s 2019 Consumer Payments Survey, cash payments fell to 27 per cent of payments in 2019, and from around 70 per cent in 2007.

Worldpay global e-commerce general manager Phil Pomford says cash was on its way out even before the pandemic and he estimates that by 2023, only five per cent of point of sale transactions will involve cash.

“With concerns around safety and hygiene in regard to the handling of cash, there’s no doubt that this trend has been accelerated,” said Mr Pomford.

“It’s no surprise to see major retailers like Woolworths making a concerted effort towards digital-first or entirely digital payment solutions. It’s simply a non-negotiable for retailers if they wish to remain competitive and continue to attract an increasingly digital-savvy customer.”

Until then, all Woolworths stores apart from the nine cashless Metro stores will accept cash payments; however, some stores will have fewer machines that accept cash.

How will you fare with cashless supermarkets? What are your biggest concerns with a cashless society?

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Written by Leon Della Bosca

Leon Della Bosca is a voracious reader who loves words. You'll often find him spending time in galleries, writing, designing, painting, drawing, or photographing and documenting street art. He has a publishing and graphic design background and loves movies and music, but then, who doesn’t?

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253 Comments

Total Comments: 253
  1. 0
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    Not that these stores are anywhere near me but, if the trend moves to Adelaide, I will be boycotting any stores involved. Viva Foodland!

    • 0
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      Yes if this expands to Qld stores then I will boycott as well. Especially a lot of older people who have a budget to stick to. Take out cash and pay for groceries in cash.

    • 0
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      One of the reasons they are doing this, is because cash machines are bigger & take up more room.
      They can process more customers by only having cashless machines in the check-out area.

  2. 0
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    This makes a lot of sense especially given the new findings on how long the Covid virus “lives” on banknotes.

  3. 0
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    This is social engineering by big business, forcing their customers to fall into line with what gives the business the most profit. I’ll resist as hard as I can.

    • 0
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      54-11. Yes, well put, add your comment to mine

    • 0
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      yes there are many people who feel threatened by this move including my own Princess of Procrastination 🙂

    • 0
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      yes, agree! This is another reason, maximising profits.

    • 0
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      Well if you dont agree write to your local Member of parliament…if you dont bother to follow through other than write in here your voice will not be heard.

    • 0
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      Yeah agree 100%

    • 0
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      Lets us also not forget the additional costs electronic transfers incur – I know my banking fee’s and charges add up to hundreds per year. Which also includes the cost of being forced to have a bank account.

      People should also be aware that it is cheaper for banks to deal in electronic money than purchasing cash from the treasury. In other words there is greater profits for banks and large corporations if they force you to use electronic payments. Oh OI hear you say – the business usually pays for those fees – while the business may pay the banks those fees – but the cost of those fees is added to the goods and services you are procuring.

      People also need to be VERY AWARE, that banks have regularly closed peoples accounts down and refused to allow them to use or open bank accounts. We have also seen how Mastercard and Visa stopped payments from going to Wikileaks and number of small businesses in Australia. If this was to happen to an individual in a cashless society it is effectively a death sentence. If the bank(s) or government decide you do not have enough “social credit” – not a compliant citizen – they can then cut you from money, society and hence they can remove your ability to live. as there is no way to survive in our modern societies without money.

  4. 0
    0

    I am totally opposed to a cashless society. I normally use a debit card however I do want the option to use cash.

  5. 0
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    Cash is still legal tender so whilst they can state their preference is for cashless payments, they cannot refuse to accept cash. Perhaps a legal person may need to remind them of this little inconvenient fact? At our community centre we prefer now cashless options due to COVID but legally we cannot refuse cash as it is still legal tender. We still have members who save their change up to attend classes, we never refuse. We even have several who claim they have no debit or credit cards, whilst we have no way of knowing how true this is or is not, we have no right to refuse cash.

    • 0
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      I believe big business will be telling the government to fix this inconvenient truth and do it quickly.

    • 0
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      100% True, they cannot refuse cash!

    • 0
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      Sorry folks. They can refuse cash.

      For many decades now businesses have had the right to set rules on how they will accept payment. For example, you can’t buy car with 5 cent pieces.

      You, of course, can refuse to shop there.

    • 0
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      I think they are able to refuse cash so long as there is a notice visible to the shopper before point of sale.

    • 0
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      I went to a cafe and they had a sign out front cards only. I did not go inside

    • 0
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      Puts Aldi our and my local bakery as both charge transaction taxes on the use of cards.

    • 0
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      It’s quite easy to protest this move, fill up your trolley go to the cashier and if they refuse your cash just walk out and leave your full trolley there!

    • 0
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      @ Winston, there are legal limits to how many coins you can present and each coin is different. Whilst coins and notes are legal tender we are able to use them. We all know this is about control though but if we dont support those stores then I guess they will have to change their attitudes.

    • 0
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      Unfortunately Winston is correct.
      The LNP changed the laws so that businesses can refuse certain forms of “legal” tender like cash.

      The law needs to be changed back!

    • 0
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      coins are legal tender for payment of amounts which are limited as follows:

      not exceeding 20c if 1c and/or 2c coins are offered (these coins have been withdrawn from circulation, but are still legal tender);
      not exceeding $5 if any combination of 5c, 10c, 20c and 50c coins are offered;
      not exceeding 10 times the face value of the coin if $1 or $2 coins are offered.

      Certainly looks like the seller can refuse cash as well proving they have notified you in advance, e.g. a sign on the door.

      If a provider of goods or services specifies other means of payment prior to the contract, then there is usually no obligation for legal tender to be accepted as payment.

    • 0
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      Cash may be legal tender, but according to the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA), notes and coins don’t have to be used in transactions. If a provider of goods or services specifies other means of payment prior to the contract, then there is usually no obligation for legal tender to be accepted as payment. (Road tolls and some parking come to mind).
      https://banknotes.rba.gov.au/legal/legal-tender/

    • 0
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      People saying cash MUST be accepted by businesses really need to read the legislation and learn .

      Cash does not have to be accepted by a business, they have every right to NOT accept cash payments as long as a sign is prominently displayed stating this fact. If you don’t like it you don’t shop there.

      Yes cash is legal tender, all that means is the Australian Dollar is the currency accepted in Australia, that is the “legal tender” but that does not mean it must be accepted.

    • 0
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      Aussiefrog – if you leave your trolley make sure it’s mostly frozen goods, more of an impact.

    • 0
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      Aussiefrog. Heard of someone this morning who wanted to pay for their shopping by cheque which they had done for years. They were refused so they left their trolley and walked out.

  6. 0
    0

    It will only work if they have a proper back-up plan that works, last week Coles system went down, they had no back-up system, and customers could not shop there it must have cost them big time. It seems the IT people today only work from one server, you need an A Server and a B server so that your system can stay working if your A Server goes down switch to B till your A Servers problem are sorted.

  7. 0
    0

    Cash is still legal tender in Australia. I will avoid or walk out of any shop that tries to force me to pay with a card. Although sometimes I choose to use a credit card. I want that to be my choice.

  8. 0
    0

    We discussed this in great detail just a few weeks ago. There is little point in just regurgitating what you said then. We know you don’t want it. What is left to say? You are only preaching to the converted.

    Doesn’t anyone have anything NEW to say??

    I don’t care either way. Cashless makes my life easier, but then I know how to use it to my advantage. I guess that’s the difference. I drew out $60 back in May, and it is still in my wallet. I have had no use for it.

    • 0
      0

      Lets us also not forget the additional costs electronic transfers incur – I know my banking fee’s and charges add up to hundreds per year. Which also includes the cost of being forced to have a bank account.

      People should also be aware that it is cheaper for banks to deal in electronic money than purchasing cash from the treasury. In other words there is greater profits for banks and large corporations if they force you to use electronic payments. Oh OI hear you say – the business usually pays for those fees – while the business may pay the banks those fees – but the cost of those fees is added to the goods and services you are procuring.

      People also need to be VERY AWARE, that banks have regularly closed peoples accounts down and refused to allow them to use or open bank accounts. We have also seen how Mastercard and Visa stopped payments from going to Wikileaks and number of small businesses in Australia. If this was to happen to an individual in a cashless society it is effectively a death sentence. If the bank(s) or government decide you do not have enough “social credit” – not a compliant citizen – they can then cut you from money, society and hence they can remove your ability to live. as there is no way to survive in our modern societies without money.

      This is not about your convenience or your particular habits. Its not about how it doesn’t affect you (which is a typical statement from most selfish LNP voters).
      It is much bigger and more important. A cashless society is about much more than limiting cash.

      Every electronic transaction is recorded.
      These large corporations make millions and billions from selling off peoples transaction and purchase data. The advertising companies using psychological techniques then use such data to make their advertising even more effective. Causing many people to buy more shit that they do not need.

      Your apathy just allows these psychopathic corporations to gain even more profit, power and control.

    • 0
      0

      Four points.

      I am not, never was and never will be a LNP voter. Can’t stand the mongrels. But I am no die hard ALP supporter either. Basically I hate all politicians no matter what colour tie they wear.

      Secondly, I couldn’t care less about banks selling my purchase data. I have a limited income with the pension. I only buy what I need to buy. Marketers can waste money trying to sell me stuff till the cows come home. Won’t make one scrap of difference. They are welcome to salivate over my purchases of potatoes, carrots, frozen peas, lamb chops, jocks and socks as needed, etc etc Sadly I am not in the demographic that interests them.

      Thirdly, we have discussed bank fees ad nauseum here. Anyone with one jot of common sense knows that they can be mostly avoided by NOT using paywave, but inserting or swiping your card and using the EFTPOS system, NOT Visa or MC. So get off that hobby horse once and for all.

      Fourthly, since most of any discretionary income I have goes to my hobby of family history research, I seriously doubt anyone will have cause to limit my ability to use my bank account. I have managed my life successfully for nearly 71 years by keeping out of trouble and keeping my nose clean. If that makes me a “compliant citizen” then so be it. I will wear the insult. No skin of my nose. I gave up tiliting at windmills a long long time ago. Much easier on the blood pressure.

    • 0
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      The Lorax – One comment for you…….HAHAHAHAHAHA

  9. 0
    0

    I am in another state altogether but I feel that is going to impact on the elderly. I generally pay with card and I don’t think I’ve had more than $5 in my purse since COVID. Most of the elderly don’t have cards and do everything by cash that is going to be so hard for them. How are they supposed to pay for their groceries etc. up here we have a few places that are still cashless from the start of COVID.

    They need to rethink this as a lot of people, me included, would prefer to pay with cash.

    • 0
      0

      The businesses are just supporting the government drive to get rid of older people. Of course there is a drive to kill the cash society so government can track all spending.

    • 0
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      Yes, Pixie, people refused to accept ID cards but a cashless society means everyone and their movements can be tracked. Our credit cards will be the same as being microchipped.

    • 0
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      LOL…if they want to track me they can. Go to supermarket, op shops, chemist, dan murphys, restaurants and home. I am sure I am under threat!!

    • 0
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      If the government decides that booze is bad for people over a certain age and the health service is being overburdened then Dan Murphy will not be able to serve you, hyperbole.

  10. 0
    0

    These stores are already cutting staff with their self service systems whereby the customer does all the work himself and has no contact with staff regarding payment, so there is no reason whatsoever do away with cash payments. These big supermarkets are an absolute disgrace, they Rob and financially rape our farmers and treat their customers like dirt. With all the Royal Commissions going on, one more into the conduct of supermarkets would not go astray. A disgusted Jacka.

    • 0
      0

      My suggestion is that anyone who uses the self-service machines should have an accident while using the machines. Enough people trying to litigate and claim compensation for damages may actually get these fetid corporations to do the right thing.

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