Cash is king: Public furore over Australia’s first ‘cashless’ bakery

Jan 04, 2024
A local bakery in NSW has caused a stir by going completely cashless. Source: Getty Images

Long gone are the days of saving up pocket money in a piggy bank or feeding coins into payphone (or slot machine). Slowly but surely, paying with cards and electronic devices has become the preferred way for stores to do business.

Before 2020, few places were completely cashless but now there is an ever-increasing trend of businesses outright refusing to accept cash payments. This has understandably sparked a heated discussion about whether refusing cash payments is even legal.

One such business that has done away with cash payments is the Heritage Bakery in Milton, NSW which, have been cashless since 2017.

The move towards cashless transactions caused a bit of a stir at the time but back then they were the exception rather than the rule. It is also worth noting that they initially went cashless due to multiple robberies happening at their store.

Nowadays, their lack of cash payments is hardly uncommon. However, they have been very vocal about their refusal to accept cash payments, to the point where they have erected a large sign in their store.

The sign proclaims that they are “Australia’s First Cashless Bakery” and thanks customers for being an “early adopter” of what presumably refers to the cashless payments model.

This move on the bakery’s part to refuse cash has drawn the ire of groups such as Cash is King, who have become very popular amongst cash diehards, with some scathing responses pouring in from the members of the group.

“Nothing to be proud of!”

“Will never stop there, hope they go broke!!”

“Using the term “early adopter”- not creepy or Orwellian at all!”


Their inability to take payments should the internet and mobile networks go down was also pointed out several times.

The controversy over the ability of Australians to pay in cash has also drawn the attention of Queensland MP Bob Katter. He has long been a supporter of physical currency and has supported calls to return more cash into circulation in North Queensland where natural disasters are common.

During the recent Tropical Cyclone Jasper, additional cash was  flown into the area due to telecommunications infrastructure being damaged.

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