Mary Street Bakery in Perth backflips after going cashless

A trendy chain of popular bakeries has backflipped on a decision to go cashless after customers repeatedly vented their anger towards staff.

On Tuesday, Paul Aron, the owner of Mary Street Bakery in Perth, lifted the pandemic-era cashless policy at all five locations.

Mr Aron said that not only did the ‘no cash’ measure help keep his staff safe, it also saved time for employees who no longer had to count money twice a day.

However, recent backlash against cashless venues had riled up customers to the point where they were abusing the bakery’s employees.

‘The reason we’ve gone back is because staff were getting abused,’ Mr Aron told WAToday.

Mary Street Bakery in Perth has walked back on a cashless payment policy after staff were abused by furious customers

Pictured are staff at Mary Street Bakery in Perth

Pictured are staff at Mary Street Bakery in Perth

He added that accepting cash was ‘an expense and a pain’ but was committed to bringing it back.

‘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,’ he said.

The decision came on the same day that a group of independent MPs in Canberra introduced the Keeping Cash Transactions in Australia Bill. The Bill aims to prevent Australia from becoming a cashless society, as cash transactions continue to decline.

If passed, the laws would require cash as a payment option for any transaction of up to $10,000.

Any individual refusing a cash payment under those circumstances could be fined up to $5,000, while a business would have to pay a maximum fine of $25,000.

Former Nationals MP Andrew Gee revealed the new proposal alongside fellow independents Dai Le and Bob Katter.

‘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,’ Mr Gee said.

‘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.

The bakery chain had signs at stores that said: 'We accept card payments only'

The bakery chain had signs at stores that said: ‘We accept card payments only’

‘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.’

Mr Katter, the member for Kennedy, said it was vital that hard currency remain a payment option.

‘Taking away cash, and thereby taking away the choices and freedoms of the people, is fundamentally unfair,’ he said.

‘With cash, we control it: we control how we spend it and save it.’

Pro-cash advocacy group, Cash Welcome, celebrated the Bill’s introduction and called on Prime Minister Anthony Albanese and Opposition Leader Peter Dutton to support it.

‘Now government can act – quickly and easily – to protect our right to access and use cash,’ a statement from Cash Welcome read.

A customer trends report released in 2023 by the Australian Banking Association found that Aussies are the top users of cashless payments in the world with almost 99 per cent of customers conducting their bank transactions online. 

Cash now forms just 13 per cent of all total customer payments in Australia.

A report released by the RBA in 2023 found that 72 per cent of Aussies classified themselves as low-cash users.