McDonalds Going Cashless

Over the last four years in Ireland McDonalds has been upgrading their locations around Ireland. More order touch screens have been installed, all with ability to take card payments other than cash. As such, less till staff have been needed to be hired. This agenda has been appiled to other McDonald locations around the world. Competitive outlets to them and common shopping outlets have also increased their installation of cashless machines over paying someone to operate a cash till.  Anger over these moves has reached greater heights in Austrailia as some locations have started to refuse taking cash at all during some periods of operation. This is a possible futher sign of how such businesses will likely go too in Ireland as this form of staff reduction continues.

Restaurants in Melbourne’s East and South are being impacted by the change and, while cashless payments are preferred, the outlets are still accepting cash if that is the only payment method available. McDonald’s are not the only fast food chain to take a step back from cash. A handful of KFC stores in New South Wales – including in Morisset, Lakehaven and North Wyong – are now only accepting card or digital payments. A KFC spokesperson said that move was “at the discretion of our franchise partners and is in line with legal requirements”. All cashless restaurants have erected display signage dictating what payment methods are only accepted.

The move has divided opinions in Austrailia. However, it is actually entirely legal, according to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC), who are in no hurry to bring in legislation in order to protect the use of cash with all common used shops and leisure facilities. Expert predictions state that Australia will become a cashless society by 2026. In a further worrying sign, one bank, ANZ, is no longer accepting the deposit or withdrawal of smaller denominations of cash in some of its branches. a further sign of things to come.

It remains to be seen if European governments, EU bodies and the Irish government will make preemptive moves to help protect those that wish to remain using cash. If government don’t do this, further people, especially elderly and incapacitated who find the use of cards difficult to use or obtain, will find themselves ostracised from the rest of society. It’s becoming urgently important that this become a local and national election matter for discussion and subsequent protections applied.