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Is Australia Becoming a 'Cashless' Society?

Becoming a cashless business has never been easier with Square. From tap-and-go payment hardware like Square Reader to iPad POS systems like Square Stand, learn more about Square Hardware to help your business go cashless.


Cold, hard cash. We’re just not carrying it around like we used to. And for good reason. Cash is slower at the till, harder to keep track of and if your wallet gets nicked, it’s gone.

As a nation we’re using our cards more and our cash less. In fact, Australia ranks sixth in the world’s top 10 cashless economies. These days we only carry $55 in our wallets on average and we top up our funds from the ATM less than once a week.

In 2007, Australians used cash for 69% of our purchases. In 2013, it was down to 47%. Since then the trend has continued as the amount of money withdrawn from ATMs drops as well as the frequency with which we’re withdrawing it. Also, cash as a portion of our total spending has fallen — from 38% in 2007 to 18% in 2013. That means when we do use cash, it tends to be for smaller purchases like coffee or a quick bite to eat.

As a small business owner, if you don’t accept credit cards, you’re missing out on business. In fact, 83% of consumers believe that businesses that don’t accept credit cards will be left in the dust. A MasterCard survey confirmed that most Australian customers (89%) have a negative view of ‘cash-only’ businesses. Seventy percent assume these businesses are ‘very small,’ 42% think they’re doing something dodgy like trying to avoid paying tax or declaring income and 19% see them as ‘unsophisticated.’ All in, it’s probably not the message you want to broadcast to your customers.

Fortunately, with Square it’s simpler and easier than ever to accept credit and debit cards. Square Reader is the smallest, most mobile and most affordable credit card device on the market. And it’s yours for just $19. Our low-cost credit card processing rate is just 1.9% per tap, insert or swipe. That’s it. Square’s pricing has no hidden fees, additional costs for premium cards, contracts or commitments.

Plus the reader comes with Square Point of Sale and online reporting Dashboard. These tools contain powerful analytics and help you manage your entire business. You can also send invoices for free and pay just 2.5% when they’re paid securely online. That’s every tool you need to accept credit cards and get paid faster.

As Jared Lawler from Path Coffee in Melbourne tells us, ‘More and more people are accustomed to doing smaller transactions with their cards. We’ve had a 30% increase in sales since we’ve been able to accept credit card payments with Square.’

We love helping small businesses grow. We also know you have your hands full and we’re here to help things run a bit smoother. So the next time a customer asks if you accept credit cards, we hope your answer will be a resounding ‘Yes!’

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