Cashless card user not happy with system

CASHLESS CARD: Placed on the cashless debit card last year, Jocelyn Wighton said it has had a negative impact on her life. Picture: Luca Cetta

CASHLESS CARD: Placed on the cashless debit card last year, Jocelyn Wighton said it has had a negative impact on her life. Picture: Luca Cetta

Jocelyn Wighton was put on the cashless debit card at the beginning of the Ceduna trial last year and says it has had a negative impact on her life.

The 61-year-old Ceduna resident was on a disability support pension when placed on the card in March 2016 and said she still had trouble using it at local shops.

In the federal budget last week, the government announced plans to extend the card to two new yet-to-be-determined sites following what it said was the success of the card during the first 12 months of the Ceduna trial.

However Ms Wighton said the card had made her life difficult.

“I can’t buy second hands good off anybody locally because the ordinary person on the street does not have the machine I can put the card into,” she said.

“I am still having trouble getting the card to work when I know there’s money on it, I have had trouble at places like Foodland, the chemist and the post office.

“I have been on holidays interstate and had less trouble using it than here in Ceduna – it works elsewhere but fairly regularly doesn’t work here.”

Ms Wighton said she was initially on the 80/20 system which put 80 per cent of her money on the card and offered 20 per cent as cash.

She then applied to go 50/50 but after her application took three months to process she said she received a letter from the local committee stating her application had been denied and she would instead receive 60/40.

“Things have been a little better after the switch but I am still having problems,” she said.

“The only positive I can see in the card is that it has brought the Aboriginal and white communities together but there are so many negatives.

“I stay home most days, I don’t like using the card to buy a cup of coffee with friends or to get the paper, we are not in a city where using a card for everything is okay.”

Ms Wighton said the card should be used for people who really needed it.

“I have no argument with the card being used on people who need the help, like alcoholics,” she said.

“But I also think these people need help not their money quarantined and so there needs to be more services.

“I can’t afford not to use the card, I need to pay my rent and electricity and I need to buy my food – the biggest thing is we don’t get a choice.”

She said she was against the card expansion.