11 November 2021

A world without cash: who will be left behind?

Declining cash use affects vulnerable consumers.

Member comments

Get access to comment

Susan T.
22 Nov 2021
Many are left behind if we go cashless

Many comments below cover those who are left behind and cannot manage online processes or have access to good enough internet / device. Also those with access difficulties of sight, and a number of learning difficulties struggle with online processes. Reducing the options cash/online/ eftpos/ credit debit/ losing branches and ATMS is of huge concern. Hubs are a great alternative but will the banks do it ??

C W R.
20 Nov 2021
Both systems are required

The one problem with digital online is that it is too easy to overspend, it is just a figure on a screen.
When one is using cash in the hand it is more meaningful, and therefore one spends one’s money with more care. Again if one is giving to a charity/church handing over actual money/cash is in a way more rewarding to the giver.

B A S.
20 Nov 2021
The end of illegal payments

but of course not. Cash will be around a long long time.

Greig & Anna C.
19 Nov 2021
Cash teaches budgeting

Using cash and dealing with physical money is the best way to teach kids about the value of money, and what money really means. Sliding your card through a machine gives the impression to little kids that money is always on tap and comes from a hole in the wall. I believe this will have an impact on their understanding of debt, earning, saving etc. It is also a great way to teach maths.

Hugh W.
14 Nov 2021
The need to retain cash in New Zealand

In the event of a serious national or regional disaster, cash may be the only currency available, as ATMs and online banking services may be disrupted.

Vivian N.
14 Nov 2021
A world without cash who will be left behind

For all sorts of reasons, as already stated, the time is not right to move to a totally cashless society. However, as a wheelchair user, I am appalled to learn that 181 ATMs have been closed in 2 years. As it is, ATMs are difficult to use for people who don't stand at the standard height at which most ATMs are designed. If not in the right position, glare frequently makes the screen even more difficult to read. As it is now, there are only a few ATMs that meet my needs, rarely are machines positioned at different heights - to cater for people whose height can range from 3'6'' to 6'3".
Vivian Naylor

B J M.
14 Nov 2021
Elimination of cheques

The removal of cheques from the banking system has removed a key payment method for certain older people. My mother was in this situation. Her memory was failing so using online banking and passwords (and cashflow cards and PINs) was not a good option, particularly with a string of caregivers coming to the house. (Small amounts of cash regularly went missing from shelves and drawers as it was.) She relied on being able to write cheques for most of her bills as she had a written record that she could refer to on the butt that she had paid an account.
She was able to manage her affairs more or less independently in this way until the time she was unable to live in her own home.

Bevan M.
14 Nov 2021
Legal Tender

I thought cash could not be refused as it is a form of legal payment. I can understand if a business has a sign that says "eftpos only" then you have a choice whether to use that business. It is hard when you have small clubs etc who pay with "cash".. i.e coins and small notes for entry fees , raffles etc and the amount of change available is limited.

Grant R.
13 Nov 2021
Trust is key

Over the last 20 months I've lost trust in our government.
I've lost trust in Kiwibank which has had outages in their online banking services.
I trust cash. I pay most bills through auto payment online, but definitely want to retain my right to have and use cash whenever it is an easy and straightforward way to pay for something.
I think digital currency is far to risky to rely on, and is open to abusive charges by banks and or governments.

Trevor B
13 Nov 2021
Cash as notes is hard enough -try getting coins

I belong to a walking group which carpools to the destination, and passengers pay a small amount to the driver - often under $5. So I have to rely on dairy purchases or similar to break a $20, which is the smallest note available from an ATM. Removal of cash altogether would create even more problems. Banks enjoy special privileges in our society so they should have to bear certain responsibilities too.

R H B.
13 Nov 2021
I'm over 70 and haven't used cash for so long I can't recognise the coins at a glance

I never enjoyed cash. The coins were inconvenient in my pocket or wallet so I would always give them away. Eventually when I found that I had carried a note around for anything up to six months I would give that away too. I was an early adopter of EFTPOS, and migrated to the debit card; but now with the phone in hand one can scan the Covid QR code at the local supermarket, shop and then pay contactless with the same mobile phone. If their grandfather behaves this way I can't see my grandsons wanting to carry much cash.

David C.
13 Nov 2021
A central bank digital currency is issued by a central bank, but...

...the private banks will be responsible for executing most of the consumer transactions - right?

Are we really comfortable turning over that all the transaction processing to banks who have a history of high costs and sometimes less than scrupulous behaviour around gouging? And it also hands over vast amounts of valuable transaction and consumer consumption patterns to organisations who will regard that information as a saleable commodity.

I plan to keep using cash for as many transaction as possible for as long as possible - beyond the above concerns, cash doesn't suffer from things like power outages, account hacking, loss of data connections and all the rest.

Ian M.
13 Nov 2021
Keep Cash Consumerable

The electronic forms of cash are just not safe. Look at the examples from overseas. Remember the number of times and durations this year we have had places like Hospital boards not functioning. Look at the elderly being ripped off from overseas. I have seen elderly at an Australian bank counter being told they could not use cheques. They could not understand. I cannot now send my nieces and nephew cheques for xmas and birthdays. Fix it. Dump the australian banks.
One of the biggest farces I have heard was when the ASB was addressing a Probus club and said they had opened a hub in a postal centre so now we could do postal and banking at the same time and place. I could do that over 1/2 a century ago at the Post Office Savings Bank

John M.
13 Nov 2021
What is "Legal tender"?

I'd like to see more on the legalities spelled out. I had thought that cash covered under "legal tender" meant it had to be accepted. Otherwise what is the value of a system entirely built on trust in one's government to honour it's value for transactions. I've come to learn it may only apply to banks having to honour cash but now I read that even that is doubtful. if we must keep cash in the system let's get this clear in law.

13 Nov 2021
Cash may be the only way to pay without cheques

We are in our late 80's and have preferred to give a decent sized Chrismas cheque rather than a present. It is too invasive to ask all of our whanau for bank details so what is the alternative to sending cheques - is it not cash which we can access?

P A M.
13 Nov 2021
91 Year Old Woman

Our 91 year old aunt does not have a mobile phone or use the internet. She is a cash-only sort of person. Lately we have had to pay for her goods and services using our credit card or online banking and get her son, who has EPOA, to reimburse us each time. Elderly aunt has a good handle on her finances but is confused she cannot pay using cash.

Vicki M.
13 Nov 2021
Vicki M.

While many accounts are done by direct debit, I pay a lot on line as well. However, living in the country I still need cash from time to time to pay the lawn mower, or someone who has done a job for me and had to buy parts. I still like to idea of cash in case the "system" goes haywire and I cannot use a card or the internet.

John M.
13 Nov 2021
Cash jobs

Of course the Inland Revenue (and therefore the Government) like to discourage cash use to pay for jobs done because cash is much harder to trace and therefore level tax against.

Lynne H.
13 Nov 2021
Clubs will suffer

Many sports clubs and small clubs such as scouts etc rely on raffle tables and Saturday car wash for their funds. I have found when on a raffle table that so many who would usually buy a ticket in our Christmas raffle have apologized for not having any cash to buy one. Also the likes of Heart Foundation, Daffodil day etc. These are the ones who will really suffer without cash.

Doug M.
13 Nov 2021
Agree totally

Quite agree. There are small community organizations, such as U3A, Lions, Rotary, etc, who rely on a small cash fee, often $1 to $5, to cover venue costs. Many of their members are in the older age groups who do not have a smart phone and would struggle with a CBDC. Also almost all school galas rely on cash payments for most items and some sort of cash float is required. It costs a lot to own or hire a portable eftpos machine. Cash is really the only option.

It appears that many in the Banking industry hierarchy have no idea of the knock-on impacts of reducing the number of branches and the subsequent difficulty in getting cash.

John F.
13 Nov 2021
Small town city life

Cash for small transactions still very necessary for our way of life in a small town. Although I’m using paywave more often in stores this year it’s absolutely essential as part of a community to have cash for the inevitable fundraising raffles, to buy seedlings from the enterprising gardener’s little stall etc and to pay a grandchild for helping with a light job and then able to go off down to the local shop and buy an icecream. I hope it lasts out quite a few more years. Cash is a very ancient system after all.