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Comparing cash with EFTPOS card payments in a business

4-minute read

Most retailers, restaurant owners and café operators are happy to see cash flow through their businesses. But are all those notes and coins really worth the hassle? Okay, having a cash-only operation may seem simple, but only taking payments this way could be holding your business back. 

Key take-outs
  • Handling cash can be time-consuming and may pose a security risk
  • Card payments are generally quicker and easier and can assist with bookkeeping
  • Customers now expect to be able to make contactless payments by card
  • You may be able to integrate EFTPOS with your POS machine (point of sale) 

Why should I take card payments as well as – or instead of – cash? Here are six reasons why it might be a good idea to make the move to EFTPOS and other contactless payment methods:


  • Cash may pose a security risk
  • Keeping change can be a hassle
  • Managing cash is a labour cost
  • Card payments are easier for bookkeeping
  • With an EFTPOS machine you could receive your takings instantly
  • Customers expect modern payment systems

1. Cash may pose a security risk

If you take a lot of cash payments from customers, there could be a risk of it getting lost or stolen, including being pilfered by staff. Carrying your takings to the bank can be physically risky too, which isn’t a concern with electronic banking. 


As a cash business, you also need to think about how to keep your cash float secure when you close the store each day.


Businesses that take cash will always have these security challenges, which is one reason why some enterprises are choosing to accept electronic payments only – by card and enabled mobile phones and watches. For more reasons, read on.

2. Keeping change can be a hassle

Have you ever had a bunch of customers in a row give you $50 notes as payment, only to find that you’re unable to give them all change? And have you thought about how much of the working capital for the business is tied up in your cash float?


Imagine how much quicker and easier it could be if contactless payment was used through an EFTPOS machine (also known as ‘EFTPOS terminal’) for all those transactions.

3. Managing cash is a labour cost

Managing physical money, checking the amount offered and giving change – the time it takes all adds up, payment after payment, and time is money. Then there’s heading to the bank and queuing to make the deposit. Either you or someone in your business needs to do it and this means time away from your business.


With EFTPOS and technology such as contactless payment, you could save time at the counter and at the table – and will be giving customers an efficient and easy way of paying. A portable EFTPOS machine adds to the convenience; and linking your EFTPOS to a point of sale (POS) system could save you even more time tapping in payment details.

4. Card payments are easier for bookkeeping

When your customers pay by card using your EFTPOS machine rather than using cash, your bank lists this as a transaction in your business bank account1. This could make bookkeeping with your accountant much easier at tax time when you need to show a breakdown of your income. 

5. With an EFTPOS machine you could receive your takings instantly

If you choose a bank that can almost immediately settle your EFTPOS takings for the day, you can have same-day access to your money – to pay staff and suppliers or withdraw cash from an ATM.


Westpac currently offers Instant Settlement, which can help improve cash flow. It lets you access your Westpac EFTPOS machine takings (other than UnionPay) almost immediately after terminal settlement into your Westpac transaction account is completed. You can settle once within each 24-hour period, then start using your earnings straight away2.


Or, if you’re using the EFTPOS Air app, the new Westpac mobile payments solution, settlement takes place each evening3. When downloaded to a compatible phone or tablet, the EFTPOS Air app can take ‘tap to pay’ card and mobile wallet payments using just the device.

6. Customers expect modern payment systems

Many customers now don’t carry cash at all, and they expect to ‘tap and go’ – including paying with Near Field Communication (NFC) enabled mobile phones and watches. To accept NFC payments, you will need to upgrade your payment system to an EFTPOS payment solution.


To switch completely to EFTPOS is an important decision for your business and may make taking payments much easier for you. For even more convenience, it’s worth exploring EFTPOS that integrates with your point of sale (POS) system – such as EFTPOS Connect (integrates with Linkly POS) and Presto Smart (integrates with all leading POS machines) from Westpac.

A new, easier way to take payments

Get paid the easy way, with our EFTPOS app on your compatible phone. T&Cs, eligibility and fees apply.

Discover EFTPOS Air

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Things you should know

1. Westpac’s products and services are subject to terms and conditions and may be subject to fees and charges.

2. Westpac instant settlement functionality is not available between 9:30 pm and 11:59 pm (Presto Smart terminals) and between 9:30 pm and 11:00 pm (EFTPOS Now, EFTPOS Now with Presto, EFTPOS Flex and EFTPOS Connect terminals) - Sydney time. You can only perform a settlement once a day, before 9:30 pm (Sydney time). A settlement done after 11:00 pm for EFTPOS Now, EFTPOS Now with Presto, EFTPOS Flex and EFTPOS Connect terminals and after 11:59 pm for Presto Smart terminals, will be processed as a settlement for the next day. Subject to system availability, settlement can take place 7 days a week. Settlement must be to an eligible Westpac transaction account. Instant Settlement functionality is not available on Corporate Online. Instant Settlement is only available for Mastercard®, Visa® and eftpos transactions (plus UnionPay if using EFTPOS Connect).

This information does not take into account your personal circumstances and is general. It is an overview only and should not be relied upon. This information including any tax information provided in this article should be used as a guide only. We recommend that you seek independent professional legal and tax advice about your specific circumstances.
3. Same-day settlement: Subject to system availability, settlement is performed directly after business day cut off. Business day cut-off for EFTPOS Air takes place 7-days a week at 08.50 pm (Sydney time). Settlement must be to an eligible Westpac business transaction account.