Why this Brisbane cafe isn’t taking cash

A Brisbane café has become one of the first cafes in Australia to adopt an entirely cashless payment model.

The café is one of Pablo & Rusty’s Coffee Roasters six stores across Sydney and Brisbane, but is the only venue in the group not to operate using cash tills.

As reported by the ABC, the café allows customers to pay using only bankcards and phone ‘tap and pay’ applications.

Pablo & Rusty’s owner Saxon Wright told the ABC when looking at the problems with running a café, “cash came up as the biggest headache”.

So Wright just took the problem away, and hasn’t looked back.

“You don’t have errors at the till, you don’t have cashing off at the end of the day, no risk of theft,” Wright said.

“The time to pack up at the end is much less.”

“With insurance, because we don’t have cash on the premises, it’s probably 15 to 20 per cent off.”

Wright said customers have embraced the popular new model.

“I think it’s going to become a cashless and even wallet-less society in time,” he told the ABC.

“So we just wanted to take a step towards that and show other businesses that it’s possible to do it.”

Australians quick to adopt cashless tech

Steve Worthington, adjunct professor at Swinburne University of Technology told SmartCompany Australia has been a “very quick adopter” of cashless technology.

“We’re one of the quicker adopters in the world, we’re quite technologically advanced when it comes to these sort of ‘tap and pay’ systems,” Worthington says.

“We already have Apple Pay and Samsung Pay, and Android Pay is on the way soon.”

But despite the widespread availability of phone payment systems, Worthington says Australian businesses are yet to fully embrace mobile payment options for their customers.

“Many SMEs don’t want to have that technology in their stores yet, but sooner or later I believe they will,” he says.

Cashless systems still have a way to go before seeing exclusive use like in Pablo & Rusty’s, Worthington says.

With the recent Telstra outage, a lot of businesses systems went down, and they were unable to use the internet or their phones,” Worthington says.

“One of the banks IT systems crashed, and that caused a lot of issues with payments.

“Whilst there are still glitches in the systems, we’ll all still carry cash.”

Another thing that may be stopping SMEs from embracing cashless payments is surcharge rates, but Worthington says they won’t be around for much long.

“The RBA is attempting to curtail the use of surcharges because people and businesses don’t like them,” Worthington says.

“Once that’s worked out we will see a greater adoption.”



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