Woolworths trialling ban on cash payments

Woolworths is trialling a new cashless payment system at 11 CBD stores across Melbourne and Sydney, in a move that has sparked outrage.

The announcement comes as Australia’s move towards a cashless society increases amidst a digital transition during national COVID-19 restrictions.


The madness continues. Photo: ADE


It has been revealed that Woolworths supermarkets will be trialling a ban on cash payments at selected stores in Sydney and Melbourne.

A Woolworths spokesperson confirmed the move to media outlets last week, stressing the organisation “will be closely monitoring the trial”

The confirmation follows uproar on social media after a sign revealing the new policy circulated. An image was posted to Facebook from a concerned citizen showing the new guidelines:

Photo: Facebook

The notice to all customers reads: “Payments can now only be made by card. We no longer accept cash payments or offer cash out facilities. We apologise for any inconvenience this may cause.”

The move has been met with considerable controversy, with hundreds vowing to boycott the retail giant if it continued to refuse customers the ability to pay for groceries with cash.

Let’s also not forget: Only a couple of years ago, Woolworths suffered a major technical glitch across the country that meant it could not use cash registers at all, and had to close for an entire afternoon — leaving grocery shoppers vastly inconvenienced.

Now, with entire stores moving to a cashless model ‘for a limited time’, how long could it be before another error is experienced? How secure are Australia’s digital systems in a time of turmoil? 

Given the company is currently trialling facial recognition features in self-serve checkouts, the new move seems to come at ‘perfect’ timing. Could this be funnelling customers towards these cameras as well?

The switch is yet another news headline to emerge during Australia’s rapid shift towards a cashless society, which has seen digital payments outperform cash payments for many years now.

The Reserve Bank of Australia has already mooted that cash will become a “niche payment” sooner than we think. Remember, the government has already proposed legislation which makes it a criminal offence to pay more than $10,000 in cash.

The bill has not yet been finalised, but it creates four criminal offences relating to cash payments with a value of $10,000 or more for goods or services transacted between two entities.

The new confirmation from Woolworths signals that intentions by supermarkets to ‘transform’ Australia’s shopping experiences over the next decade, are indeed, set to become a reality.


Major supermarket chains have already made clear their intentions to help support Australia’s transition to a digital marketplace, and have been leading the charge in recent years.

The final goal? To have similar ‘contactless’ walk-in/walk-out procedures already seen in Amazon Go stores across the world, where advanced systems eliminate the need to line up and pay.

Under this system, shoppers walking into a store would scan their phone on a train-station-like turnstile, connecting their presence in the store (as well as fellow shoppers) with their profile.

Shortly after, artificial intelligence, sensors and data are used to detect what customers pick up and put in their bags, before being charged to their accounts on exit from the store:

It is this ‘seamless’ shopping experience that is predicted to hit our supermarkets over the next decade, following the success of self-serve checkouts and online shopping in Australia.

Amazon has not shared details on the methods involved in its “Just Walk Out” technology, but says it mimics some of the techniques seen in self-driving cars, including machine-learning systems, as well as computer vision, the image-processing technology used on Facebook.

Coles Head of Commercial and Express, Greg Davis, revealed in January that he believed Australian shoppers will likely be able to do their grocery shop without using a checkout by 2030.

“I have no doubt in the next 10 years, customers will be able to take the product off the shelf, put it in their basket, walk out and have it all paid for,” Mr. Davis said in a recent interview.

Supermarkets are looking to advance their targets to cut $1 billion from base costs through new technologies, driven by automation and artificial intelligence.

Earlier this month, Woolworths announced a further 700 jobs will be lost to automation, as the company expands the capacity of new “digital workforces” by 2023.

Under the guise of ‘convenience’ and ‘security’, Australia’s shopping giants are assisting the transition to a highly-monitored, digital dystopia — underpinned by total control of financial freedoms.


The bottom line is this: Avoid supporting major supermarket chains wherever possible. The time has come to completely disconnect from corporations like this that are selling out Australia.

Remember, within days of the COVID-19 ‘outbreak’ in Australia, most shops began eschewing cash, with a preference for cards. Here’s the thing – most of the NPC masses quickly complied.

Not to mention the fact they pulled alternative magazines from their shelves, including one that publishes about complementary therapies, alternative medicines and protection against 5G.

Banking experts have recently said that over the 12 weeks or so the country was under heavy national lockdown, the digital banking revolution sped up by about five years.

There are two reasons why: Firstly, the fact that cash became an ‘unacceptable’ currency almost overnight in the eyes of the consumer market. Informed citizens fight back against this daily. 

Secondly (and importantly), the effect of a psychological shift, particularly amongst people who were not previously avid users of technology, who were suddenly ‘forced’ to embrace the internet for schooling, for work, to shop and to order takeaway. Not to mention to connect with people.

In doing so, they became more comfortable with the online environment. This further normalises the shift and justification for new cashless society guidelines.

It is all psychological, ladies and gentlemen. Demonise cash as a ‘dangerous’ and ‘inconvenient’ option, while creating environments during COVID-19 where only digital acceptance can survive.

But what if Australians all stood up and said enough is enough? What if Australians decided to regain freedom over their food supplies and no longer supported the supermarket monopolies?

As they say, it’s all a house of cards and it would all come crumbling down. Citizens run the consumer market, not the other way around. Always remember that and vote wisely with your money.

Farewell, Coles and Woolworths. It has been a good run. Australians are done with you.

What stores will be affected?


Bourke Street, Melbourne Central, Swanston Street, Elizabeth Street, Collins Square and Little Collins.


York Street, George Street, North Sydney, Manly and Strawberry Hills.


Customers call for boycott as Woolworths bans cash at selected stores | Yahoo!

Supermarkets to be ‘checkout free’ by 2030 | TOTT News

Australia’s move towards a cashless society | TOTT News

Woolworths automation set to replace 700 jobs | TOTT News

Supermarkets begin switch to automated workforces | TOTT News

Alternative magazine pulled from supermarkets | TOTT News


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9 comments on “Woolworths trialling ban on cash payments”

  1. Havent shopped at the big two supermarkets for decades and I sure am not going to start now. I think many young people into technology will embrace the cashless wholeheartedly. It is new, exciting, makes things happen faster etc. Down the track what about the people trying to earn a few $$ on Gumtree, markets, swap meets etc? They will know how you spend your money…every single $ and that is sincerely creepy!

  2. If you accept their offer to buy their goods then offer cash which is legal tender and they refuse the cash then the selected goods are yours for free. You cannot change the law just because you do not agree with it Do this a few times & they will soon change their mind. On every bank n is written (in small font) LEGAL TENDER..

  3. The best thing about this lockdown is that I discovered a world of small farmers cultivating outside the city I am in. Had no idea they even existed. I have ditched the major supermarkets and use these family farmers and Harris Farm 100% of the time. Granted they need credit card details, however, they deliver, are friendly and their seasonal fruit and veg produce is no more than two days old. These lunatic supermarkets have had their day with me. Support the small farmers.

  4. Confusing, How are people going to buy from me at a garage sale if I don’t have an Eftpos machine, it has to be cash.?
    How can the poorer people be able to afford their own Eftpos machines, I remember the machines were $3,000 about 10 – 15 years ago.
    Is the future Government going to give us all our own free Eftpos machines to trade with.?
    So they can’t bring in the cashless society as yet.

  5. The COVID “pandemic” was a necessary step prior to the introduction of full-blown 60 GHz 5G as the technology produces a raft of symptoms that overlap with “coronavirus”. Can’t have a direct association with 5G can we? Also allows for a multitude of interrelated control agendas to be implemented simultaneously, like cashless commerce. Then there’s also 6G & 7G ultimately! …

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