Mary Street Bakery flips on payment options after ...

Mary Street Bakery flips on payment options after customer abuse

Pictured is the exterior of Mary Street Bakery. The store has dark bricks and ground to ceiling windows along one side. Patrons are sitting on tables on the sidewalk and a neon pink sign in a window says Mary Street Bakery

Perth-based bakery chain Mary Street Bakery have announced their stores across the city will once again be accepting cash payments following fierce consumer backlash.

Mary Street Bakery owner Paul Aron said the businesses had gone cash-free during the pandemic.

“During COVID we thought we’d take the opportunity to stop using cash when people didn’t want to,” he told WA Today.

“It’s been very good in terms of time saving, but the reason we’ve gone back is because staff were getting abused.

“I also realised over time that it is difficult for some people not to use cash and I don’t want to alienate any of our customers.”

However, the move now means Mary Street Bakery has had to streamline how it processes daily takings and, with the number of bank branches declining, staff are finding it difficult to make it to a branch.

“It’s quite an expense and a bit of a pain actually, but my overarching sentiment is that I was happy to bring it back because it’s about making sure everyone who wants to come, can come – and about protecting my staff,” Paul said.

“It’s time that it takes for our stores to count cash in the morning, in the afternoon and when they close, and it’s the time it takes my accounting team to reconcile seven cash drawers and to figure out unders and overs, and the closure of bank branches is making it really hard to bank.”

The move towards a cashless society in Australia could be halted after the Keeping Cash Transactions in Australia 2024 Bill was introduced to Federal Parliament in early June.

Independent federal MPs Andrew Gee, Bob Katter and Dai Le moved the legislation, which they insist is crucial in protecting the availability and acceptance of cash payments across the nation.

According to 9 News, the three MPs said many Australians in regional areas, including older people, either cannot access online payments or find the process too difficult.

Mr Gee said, “many people, across both my electorate of Calare and around our great country, hold concerns and fears that the use of cash for transactions in Australia is being phased out and will soon disappear.”

“Shockingly while the law provides that banknotes and coins are legal tender, there is currently no legal requirement for banknotes or coins to be accepted for transactions in Australia.

“In other words, carrying Australian banknotes is no guarantee that you will be able to complete a purchase in cash – it’s all at the discretion of the business. If a business gives you notice that it won’t accept cash, it won’t have to.”

Under the new Bill, companies that offer goods and services in face to face settings must offer to accept, and must accept, cash payments up to $10,000.

If the Bill becomes law, there would be maximum civil penalties of $5000 for individuals and $25,000 for companies.

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