Since I think it's going to happen, I decided it was time to see how easy it was to go cashless (with a smaller note for emergencies). However I don't want to rack up fees. I simply want a card that will give me access to a store of money, I can easily check the balance, and if possible, have no fees. It turned out I already had such a card in my drawer. It was a Qantas cash card. Qantas sent out their new Frequent Flyer cards some time ago and the new card is also a cash card. The Qantas cash card is designed for travellers, but there's nothing stopping you using it locally. If used appropriately you should be able to use it and pay not fees.
I activated the card. No problem there.
The next step is to load some money. I used BPay as there's no fees to load money onto the card using BPay. There's a delay of up to three days, but the money was there the next day, so that was good.
The first gotcha I've encountered is I wanted to change the pin to something I could more easily remember. The online help states I could change the pin number at selected ATMs. Of course I don't know what they mean by "selected". I tried two ATMs and both didn't have an option to change the pin number. Both were operated by NAB. I later read on another banking site (CUA) that RediATMs run by NAB and BOQ don't offer the change pin number option. On my next outing I'll try a RediATM that isn't run by NAB or BOQ. I'm not game to try another brand of ATM as I'm concerned about the potential for being hit with fees. I don't intend to use ATMs in the future, but of course if I need cash, then I may be forced to.
Now I have cash loaded on the card I can start the next stage of my testing. Spending money!
Once I find an ATM that will allow me to change the pin I'll let others know whether I've managed to change the pin or not.
Changed the pin number at the CUA branch at Doncaster Shoppingtown. They have a RediATM in the wall.
Went to make my first purchase which was Sushi at the Doncaster food court. I should have known, but had simply not thought about it, but they wanted to charge a fee. That's a gotcha for many people. I remember many people complaining about cafe's not accepting cards. Small purchases can be a problem with some businesses. With the large businesses this is not a problem. Maccas had no problem or fees. Coles sold milk for $2 without a problem or fees. If you want to go cashless, sticking to the big names is probably going to be easier. That's not going to be good for smaller businesses. Although charging a small fee for a $10 purchase of sushi which is probably half profit and then losing the sale as a result doesn't make good business sense either.
Not only do you have to keep in mind the fees banks will charge, but it's just as important to keep in mind fees traders will also charge. Hard to go cashless when we have such a system.
Whilst some retailers only take cash, or won't take cards for small purchases, Aldi charge 0.5% irrespective of the amount. As such small amount purchases don't cost too much extra.
Recently ordered pizza from Dominos. Opted to pay cash so I could use my Qantas cash card when I got there. Sign stated $9 minimum EFT so paid cash. Next time I'll try the credit card option when I order online and see if that works.
Balance was running low due to purchase so put in $100 on the 11/1/2017 (Wednesday) using BPay. The amount has not yet reached the card. A good reminder to allow three banking days to clear.
Received an email today from Qantas Cash Recoveries. The card had been put on hold due to a suspect transaction. OK. In a way I strayed from using the card as a cash replacement. The supplier is in the USA and I used the card for their site. To verify the card they charged 1 USD. Since there were no other USD transactions this flagged as potential fraud. This took around 20 minutes (mostly waiting) to resolve. This is a reminder your card could be locked as a fraud security prevention measure. That doesn't happen with cash, but of course I couldn't have done this transaction with cash.