New Zealand moves to protect cash

October 21, 2020

New Zealand moves to protect cash

Australia must mandate cash transactions under $10,000

The Reserve Bank of New Zealand has today moved to protect the cash economy.

RBNZ Assistant Governor Christian Hawkesby said:

“Cash is being used less as a means of payment and access to cash is declining. However, cash provides important benefits to many people, including legal tender money, social and financial inclusion, peer-to-peer payments, backup payments, and privacy and autonomy.”

“We encourage every banking sector participant to consider their role in supporting the needs of their customers, including those who depend on cash for their everyday needs.”

RBNZ has established A Future of Cash Office and is working with industry and the community on the future of money.

In Australia, Woolworths is rolling out cashless supermarkets and in a major signal to the community, the government is banning cash transactions over $10,000.

The Reserve Bank of New Zealand’s new “stewardship” for cash direction emerged from its’ Future of Cash – Te Moni Anamata public consultation in 2019.

Sandra Smith from the ATMIA (Asia Pacific) said cash from an ATM is clean and is not more risky than any other contact surface.

“The WHO, Australian health authorities, the Royal Australian Mint and the RBA have all confirmed that cash is not a virus risk if the health advice is followed – hand sanitising, distancing and masking.”

“Cash withdrawn from an Australian ATM is clean and can be trusted and used with confidence.”

Woolworths and other retailers in Australia are refusing to accept Australian cash

as payment for food and essential services.

Woolies Metro in Sydney are Melbourne are the targets of complaints on their social media pages for not accepting cash.

There is plenty of research indicating that transmission of viruses via surfaces is largely fear.

“However you pay, the World Health Organisation and the Australian health authorities say use good hand hygiene and social distance are advised.

“And don’t mix payments and cash with food handling and eating,” said Sandra Smith.

The Australian government’s proposed cash ban for business transactions over $10,000 sends a signal that Australia is heading towards a cashless future. This is the wrong signal and we call for the government to mandate a right to pay with cash for transactions under $10,000.

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