We are now shortlisting candidates for the Department of Social Services Cashless debit cards in the trial which we are involved.
Now the Federal Government has decided to extend the trials, while I don’t have any inside knowledge of future government decisions, I believe that It is likely that within two years, these cards will be Australia Wide as these will be I expect the primary means of paying social security.
I know that stores on the program are positive about it.
Currently in some areas now, over 60% of the people have these new debit cards. For most of them, it is their only financial means. The situation now is if you are in these areas, if you cannot accept these cards, you cannot make much trade with these people.
We are very pleased with the fierce competition out there that we picked to do the trials in our market space we were picked by software and computer experts.
In the long term, by numbers, depending on how you count between 33% to about 50% of Australian households get social security payments and with our aging population, this is likely to increase in the future. Plus I can also see many people with drug and gambling problems volunteering to go on these cards and the courts enforcing these cards too on people with problems.
If you want to look at it in dollar terms, we pay about $180 billion now in social security a year of which at least 80% plus will probably go through these cards. The adult population of Australia is around 18.2 million, so just with that, we are looking at about $9,000 a person a year.
For many retailers now these cards are significant and I am sure soon for many more.