Domino's Tests Cashless Stores in Australia as the World Ditches Paper Money

Photo: Domino’s

Cash isn’t dead yet, but we’re getting close.

Domino’s in Australia announced that it will trial cashless stores at five locations in the country starting today. Customers will be able to use credit cards, debit cards, ApplePay, Android Pay, PayPal, and Domino’s Instagift gift cards. But cash will no longer be an option for both paying in-store and delivery.

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“With the growth of tap-and-go payment systems and mobile payment technology, use of cash is slowing and we’re seeing that right across our network,” Nick Knight, CEO of Domino’s in Australia and New Zealand, said in a press release.

Knight added that the pizza chain’s cashless stores will increase safety since both the stores and delivery drivers will no longer have any cash to steal. And the CEO seems bullish on the prospect of a completely cashless society.

“We’re now heading towards a very real future where the legal tender could be solely electronic, so it’s important that we remain digitally agile and continue to meet consumer demands,” Knight continued.

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Australia as a whole is becoming less dependent on cash and the government even banned all cash purchases over $15,000 in a law that took effect this month. About 37 percent of all transactions in Australia currently take the form of cash. That number is just 32 percent in the U.S. though countries like Sweden are even lower, with only 15 percent of transactions dealing in cash.

The pivot to a cashless business model doesn’t break any laws in Australia but trying something like that might be trickier in the United States. My colleague Bryan Menegus recently wrote about using cash at an Amazon cashless store in New York, something that you can do in certain municipalities due to local laws that are trying to protect the use of cash. New Jersey recently passed a law banning cashless stores and cities like San Francisco are considering the same thing.

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But needless to say, many privacy experts aren’t excited about the transition to a completely cashless society. The centralization of electronic payments means that law enforcement officials and hackers alike have the potential to look at anyone’s payment history and get a surprisingly detailed picture of that person’s life.

During a conference in the 1970s some researchers were tasked with coming up with an invisible system of total surveillance that would be more intrusive than anything people could ever imagine. What completely unobtrusive spying mechanism did they come up with? The researchers essentially invented debit cards.

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About the author

Matt Novak

Matt Novak is the editor of Gizmodo's Paleofuture blog