How often do your customers pay with cash nowadays? Not very often, probably.

A cashless society has been on the horizon for years, accelerated by Covid which provoked a 90% increase in digital wallet payments. With 48% of Aussies now using their phones to pay for goods like food and drink, the hospitality and club industries are fast adapting to this digital-first landscape.

And with summer approaching (La Niña or not), this will only skyrocket as Aussies take to bars, restaurants and cafes to embrace the longer days and hopefully warmer weather, with their digital wallets in tow.

But while going cashless means more seamless experiences for the customer, this shift has led to an increase in EFTPOS costs for SMEs – which could have saved hospitality businesses on average $5,000 a year in merchant fees.

And for those paying variable rates per transaction, this could be much higher, with bigger transactions costing greater fees.

That’s a lot of money considering the majority of businesses are still feeling the after effects of the pandemic. In Smartpay’s survey of over a thousand merchants across Australia and New Zealand, only 20% of SMEs feel their business is back to pre-Covid conditions.

From staff shortages and supply chain delays, to last minute cancellations and soaring rents, it’s a particularly tricky time for the hospitality industries. Many small businesses cannot afford to absorb these increased EFTPOS fees as they grapple with how to reduce costs and overheads without increasing prices – which risks isolating both new and loyal customers.

So, what can you do? As phones and cards become the new cash, surcharging is becoming more and more common. A zero cost EFTPOS solution allows you to automatically pass on your merchant fees and save on that EFTPOS bill – putting money directly back into your business.

Whether that’s saving on supplies and operating costs, or funding staff wages and rent payments, surcharging is a simple way to save money and invest in what really matters.

This approach is fast becoming the norm – 79% of Australian SMEs surveyed are now embracing surcharging as a way of keeping prices competitive and offering the same high level of service for their customers.4 Of those surcharging, a quarter of respondents also said they abandoned plans to increase their prices after turning to a zero cost solution.

And while the idea of putting more costs on the customer may raise eyebrows, think about how many times you have been charged a minimal fee on top of your burger or schooner, and if that made a difference.

In fact, many people are sympathetic to the challenges faced by small businesses in today’s climate – 63% of SMEs have noticed an increase in customers supporting local business since reopening post-Covid.

With many businesses concerned about merchant fees and unsatisfied by their current deals, most are unaware of how easy it is to change their EFTPOS provider while keeping their banking accounts.

Fortunately, Smartpay offers a hassle-free solution. Sign up, receive a terminal, continue selling. It’s that simple.

Visit to find out more or speak to a payment specialist on 1800 982 834.