The Meeting Place

Shops can refuse bank notes and coins as legal tender

Those who know me well know that I believe cash in king and prefer to pay with notes and coins over the faithful bank card.

Last week, when purchasing lunch around the corner from our office building in central Melbourne, I was refused the right to pay with bank notes or coins, with the cafe introducing a card only payment policy.

Immediately outraged, but not wanting to make a scene, i paid by card and went on with my day. Upon researching the subject, the law states that the cafe can trade with a card only payment policy, as long as it's made perfectly clear to the customers.

With COVID-19 crackdowns continuing around Australia, expect to see more traditional businesses move to a card only policy.

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Have we actually been advised by health professionals that cash is worse than cards?  I would think that as cards sit right next to cash in closed wallets and purses, and those wallets and purses are exposed to contaminated surfaces constantly duringvthe day, there would be little difference.

Is this cash verses card debate just another Urban Myth perpetuated by fear. is touched by countless people, dropped on the ground, walked on, vomited on, who knows what happens to it.

A card sits in your wallet, usually separate from the cash and is handled by ONE person.

Common sense would tell you that the chances of germs being on cash is far, far higher than on cards.


Most retailers are now asking us to use tap and go as a precaution, never mind cash money, they don't even want to handle the card. 

Also, they want us to pack our own bags.  I don't really care, I only ever shop for a few items and most of the time use the self serve cash registers anyway.  I actually prefer to pack my own bags, that way they don't get overfilled and too heavy.  



I agree with you EX PS.

Unless you are meticulously cleaning your card after each use, plus the wallet or purse you keep it in, forget about it being any cleaner than using cash. When was the last time you cleaned your wallet or handbag? What about your phone? Computer keyboard? How often have you ever slipped the card inside the folder in a restaurant for the waiter to process your bill? How many times have you dropped the card on the floor? Or held it in your mouth when your hands are full? So much more needless hysteria being promulgated around cash.

And FYI it is only Coles (so far) that has brought in the 'pack your own bags' advisory. This is something I was doing for years even before the self serve checkout and it is no big deal.



Like I said, is there a medical opinion on this, we all have opinions and they all seem to make sense in their own way, but what do the people who actually know say.

I am happy to comply with any reasonable, informed requirement, but common sense though common sometimes is not sense.

I have seen people in a counter line up using cards to scratch their noses and even holding them between their lips to enable them to use both hands.

Can anyone offer a medical opinion.


Apparently the virus can remain viable on plastic for days, and on materials like cardboard and copper for hours, is our "paper money" more like plastic or paper.  


Yes people do odd things with THEIR cards. THEIR cards only touch them, you never give your card to someone else do you.

You don't need a medical opinion for something so obvious and our money is PLASTIC (synthetic polymer) surely you know that, all our notes have been plastic since 1996, first one was 1988.

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