Cashless Debit Card

Northern Territory

Income Management participants in the Northern Territory have the option to transition to the Cashless Debit Card. Participants who chose to transition can receive their Cashless Debit Card on the same day. 

From the 6 December 2021, Cashless Debit Card participants in the Northern Territory will have the option of an additional card issuer and can choose between Traditional Credit Union or Indue as their card issuer.

The Department of Social Services is engaging with communities and stakeholders across the Northern Territory to provide information on the option to transition from Income Management to the Cashless Debit Card. 

The department has already engaged extensively with communities and key stakeholders around the Northern Territory and Cape York regions. Since 2019, the department has:

  • delivered over 170 information sessions to over 80 communities
  • engaged with around 5,000 community members and;
  • met with stakeholders and local organisations on the proposed transition from Income Management to the Cashless Debit Card.

The department is diligent in following all health advice in regard to travel and COVID-19 restrictions.

Who receives the Cashless Debit Card in the Northern Territory?

In the Northern Territory, the program only applies to those who choose to transition from Income Management to the Cashless Debit Card. 

Eligible income support recipients who are not on compulsory Income Management, may also choose to volunteer to participate on the Cashless Debit Card.

Both those who transition from Income Management and volunteers can choose between Traditional Credit Union or Indue as their card issuer. For more information, you can visit:

Alternatively, you can call the Cashless Debit Card Hotline on 1800 252 604 (free) or visit your local Services Australia service centre.

How does the card work?

The Cashless Debit Card looks and operates like a normal bank card, except it cannot be used to buy alcohol or gambling products, or to withdraw cash. For more information about how the card works visit the main Cashless Debit Card page.

In the Northern Territory, those who choose to transition from Income Management to the Cashless Debit Card will receive the same payment split they received under Income Management. In most cases, Cashless Debit Card participants in the Northern Territory receive:

  • 50 per cent of their income support payment in their regular bank account
  • 50 per cent of their income support payment onto the Cashless Debit Card.

For participants in the Northern Territory that have been referred under the Child Protection Measure or by a recognised authority of the Northern Territory (the Banned Drinkers Register):

  • 70 per cent of their income support payment onto the Cashless Debit Card.
  • 30 per cent of their income support payment in their regular bank account.

For more information on the Cashless Debit Card in the Northern Territory, please see Services Australia’s website - Cashless Debit Card - Who it affects - Services Australia.

Myths vs Facts

Myth: 80 per cent of my income support payment will be placed onto the Cashless Debit Card. 
Fact: In the Northern Territory, those who choose to transition from Income Management to the Cashless Debit Card will receive the same payment split they received under Income Management. In most cases, this will be a 50/50 split.

For participants in the Northern Territory that have been referred under the Child Protection Measure or by a recognised authority of the Northern Territory (the Banned Drinkers register):

  • 70 per cent of their income support payment onto the Cashless Debit Card.
  • 30 per cent of their income support payment in their regular bank account.

Myth: The Cashless Debit Card is for Age Pension recipients.
Fact: In the Northern Territory, Income Management participants in receipt of the Age Pension are not able to transition to the Cashless Debit Card.

However, those not on compulsory Income Management who are in receipt of the Age Pension, or another eligible income support payment, can choose to volunteer for the Cashless Debit Card

Myth: The Cashless Debit Card will be mandatory for all Income Management participants in the NT.
Fact: The Cashless Debit Card is a voluntary option for all Income Management participants in the Northern Territory. Only people that choose to go on the Cashless Debit Card will do so. 

Myth: The Cashless Debit Card can only be used at merchants that accept the BasicsCard.
Fact: The Cashless Debit Card can be used at over one million eftpos terminals around Australia and online. This provides significantly more choice to Income Management participants, as the BasicsCard is accepted at around 17,000 merchants nationally. 

Can you volunteer for the Cashless Debit Card in the Northern Territory? 

People living in the Northern Territory who are in receipt of an eligible income support payment can choose to volunteer for the Cashless Debit Card. 

Volunteering for the Cashless Debit Card means that you will get your income support payments on your card and you will benefit from the fee-free account and budgeting support the card offers.

To find out if you are eligible to volunteer, contact the Cashless Debit Card hotline on 1800 252 604 (free) or visit your local Services Australia service centre.

Last updated: