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In an increasingly cashless society, how many forms of payment are you taking?

April 14th, 2018 | | opinion

We’ve all walked into shops around Australia and seen the sign on the counter or attached to the register says “cash only”. We can assume the only mean Aussie dollars too right! Are they limiting themselves? What about debit and credit card payments? Around the world more and more people are not even carrying cash, and in the travel industry, if they are, it may not even be in the right currency.

So as a business in the tourism industry, what forms of payments do you take? – apart from cash (or maybe you don’t even want cash to count at the end of the day anymore!).

So, what are the other options? Obviously debit and credit cards and AMEX for those willing to pay the extra fees, but what about UnionPay, PayPal, WeChatPay, Gift vouchers, BarterCard, plus that cash in other currencies (doesn’t take that long to look up an exchange rate anymore?) and what about bitcoin and the cryptocurrencies? It may not be cash, but its all money baby!! and if these guys (below) can do it, so might you!

Comment (and other forms of money) welcome.

What is it like to be a busker in an increasingly cashless society?

Josh Thompson knows. He travelled the world for four and a half years as a busker and has seen audiences move away from carrying cash. To counter this, Mr Thompson and his busking partner have started taking electronic payments for their street performances.

“I think if buskers can keep up with that and have the technology available on the street for someone to just swipe and walk away, then that spontaneous feeling is still there.” Are audiences paying? Mr Thompson says busking audiences in Australia are hesitant to make electronic payments to buskers, but that this isn’t the case everywhere.

“In Europe and the UK, with apps and PayPal and everyone getting into bitcoin, people actually are paying buskers with digital currency,” he said. Marketing expert Julie Lee said she understands why some sectors of the market are hesitant to take up the practice. “If we’re thinking in general, pulling a bit of change out of your pocket is less identifiable, and has no safety and security issues involved with it,” she said.

Professor Lee highlighted that some people still have trouble trusting electronic payment systems. “There’s an idea that you’ve got a card that maybe has personal details on it, or that if you pay electronically you could be charged more than you’re willing to give,” she said.

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