Cashless Debit Card – Frequently Asked Questions

Where are the Cashless Debit Card sites and who does it apply to?

Q1. Where is the Cashless Debit Card program currently operating?

A1. The program is currently operating in the Ceduna region, South Australia, the East Kimberley and the Goldfields regions, Western Australia, the Cape York, Doomadgee, Bundaberg and Hervey Bay regions, Queensland, and in the Northern Territory.

Q2. Who does the Cashless Debit Card program apply to?

A2. In the Ceduna region, South Australia and Goldfields and East Kimberley regions, Western Australia, the Cashless Debit Card program applies to all people who receive a working age welfare payment. Age Pension and Department of Veterans’ Affairs Pension recipients are not included in the Cashless Debit Card program.

In the Bundaberg and Hervey Bay region, Queensland, the program applies to people aged 35 years and under who receive JobSeeker Payment, Youth Allowance, or Parenting Payment.

In the Cape York region of Queensland the program will apply to all current Income Management participants. The Family Responsibilities Commission will continue to refer people, in line with current arrangements.

In the Northern Territory, the program will apply to Income Management participants who choose to transition onto the Cashless Debit Card.

Q3. Can I volunteer to go on the Cashless Debit Card?

A3. Yes. Income Support Payment recipients, including Age Pension recipients, can volunteer to participate on the Cashless Debit Card in all sites. To find out if you are eligible, call 1800 252 604 (free)

Q4. Are temporary residents in a Cashless Debit Card site who meet the welfare payment and age criteria placed on the card?

A4. No, temporary residents (such as visitors, people in rehabilitation or people undergoing medical treatment) in a Cashless Debit Card site are not placed on the Cashless Debit Card.

Q5. What if a person on the Cashless Debit Card program leaves the area?

A5. Once a person is placed on the program, they will remain on the Cashless Debit Card so long as they continue to meet the welfare payment and age criteria, even if they move to a
non-Cashless Debit Card area. If a participant moves from one Cashless Debit Card area to another, they will retain the payment split from where they were placed onto the program.

Q6. I manage my own finances, why should I be forced to receive the Cashless Debit Card?

A6. People who manage their finances responsibly and do not spend excessive amounts on alcohol, drugs or gambling should not experience any significant difference. The Cashless Debit Card does not reduce the welfare payment amount people receive, it only changes the way in which participants receive and spend their fortnightly payments. The objective of the Cashless Debit Card is to reduce the overall level of social harm in communities caused by drug and alcohol misuse and problem gambling

You can apply to Exit the program. Contact the Cashless Debit Card Hotline (1800 252 604) for more information.

Q7. I receive the Disability Support Pension and have no history of alcohol or drug abuse, why I am receiving the Cashless Debit Card?

A7. By including all working age welfare payments, the program substantially limits the amount of cash available in the community that can be spent on activities and substances that contribute to social harm. The only time the card cannot be used is for the purchase of alcohol, cash-like gift cards, gambling products or to withdraw cash.

Q8. Will the Cashless Debit Card be rolled out nationally?

A8. There has been no decision by Government to expand the Cashless Debit Card beyond existing sites.

How does the Cashless Debit Card work?

Q9. How does the Cashless Debit Card work?

A9. The Cashless Debit Card does not change the amount of money people receive from Services Australia, it only changes the way in which people receive their fortnightly payments.

Those on the Cashless Debit Card have a portion of their income support payments paid into a restricted account and a portion into their personal bank account. All lump sum payments, (for example Family Tax Benefit payments and Advance payments from Services Australia) are placed onto the Cashless Debit Card restricted account.

Any regular deductions from people’s welfare payments, including rent or debt repayments, are taken from the restricted portion placed on the Cashless Debit Card, not the portion placed in their regular bank account.

The Cashless Debit Card looks and operates like any other bank card and can be used in most shops, which accept Visa oreftpos, including overseas. The card operates like a standard bank card and supports a range of flexible payment options including online transfers, BPAY, most online shopping, and recurring deductions. The only time the card cannot be used is for the purchase of alcohol, gambling products, cash-like gift cards or to withdraw cash.

Recognising that participants may still need cash for certain expenses, a portion of the welfare payment is deposited into participants’ personal bank accounts and can be withdrawn as cash.

Q10. How can I check my account balance?

A10. There are five ways to check your account balance:

1. Online by logging in to your account at http://cdc.indue.com.au

2. Mobile App (download the Indue DCT app via the App Store or Google Play)

3. SMS “BAL XXXX” from your registered mobile where XXXX is the last four digits of your Cashless Debit Card number to 0488 112 114 and receive a reply with your balance

4. ATM balance enquiries can be obtained free of charge from participating Westpac and DC Payments ATMs. A list of participating ATMs is available at http://cdc.indue.com.au

5. Call the Indue Customer Service Centre on 1800 710 265. There are no fees charged for any methods of balance checking.

Q11. Does my Cashless Debit Card have payWave or contactless capability?

A11. If the card has the payWavepayWave symbol symbol, you can pay by tapping your card on a contactless enabled terminal and waiting for the transaction to be confirmed. There is no need to enter a PIN for purchases of $100 or less (the maximum value threshold can be temporarily increased from time to time).

For security reasons, you will need to make one PIN transaction before you can start to use the contactless functionality. Insert your card, select ‘CR’ or Credit and enter your PIN. You will then be able to tap to pay.

If you would like a contactless card, you can login to their online account, click on ‘Settings’, then select ‘Replace Damaged Card’ allowing you to keep using your existing card until the new one is activated. Alternatively, you can contact the Indue Customer Service Centre on 1800 710 265.

For further information on how to get a Contactless Cashless Debit Card, visit http://cdc.indue.com.au

Where can the Cashless Debit Card be used?

Q12. Where can the Cashless Debit Card be used?

A12. The Cashless Debit Card will work at merchants that accept Visa or eftpos, including overseas. The only time the card cannot be used is for the purchase of alcohol, gambling products, cash-like gift cards or to withdraw cash.

Q13. Can I use my Cashless Debit Card to purchase items from eBay and Gumtree?

A13. Participants are able to make purchases online using their Cashless Debit Card from most online retailers. However, as eBay sells restricted items, the site is blocked from accepting the Cashless Debit Card. Gumtree is a site that allows people to sell their second hand goods, which may be paid for with cash or bank transfer.

Participants can use the portion of their income support payments paid into their personal accounts to purchase items from sites like eBay and Gumtree.

Q14. Can I use my Cashless Debit Card to buy items at garage sales, markets or fetes?

A14. The Government acknowledges that we do not yet live in a cashless society. Participants have access to a portion of their payment that they can withdraw as cash to use in circumstances where only cash is accepted, for example at school events, fetes and farmers markets.

Additionally, participants can transfer money between Cashless Debit Card accounts (e.g. one participant can transfer money to another participant’s account). Participants can do this using their Indue online banking portal. 

Q15. How do Cashless Debit Card participants use the card to purchase everyday items?

A15. The Cashless Debit Card will work at businesses that accept eftpos or Visa nationwide except businesses that primarily sell takeaway alcohol or gambling products. These businesses do not need to apply to accept the Cashless Debit Card as they are automatically approved. If a business sells unrestricted goods such as groceries and restricted goods like alcohol, gambling products or some gift cards they may be contacted by the Department of Social Services to discuss options for accepting the Cashless Debit Card.

Q16. Can the Cashless Debit Card be used in any shop or business including online shopping?

A16. The Cashless Debit Card works at businesses that accept eftpos or Visa. The only time the card cannot be used is for the purchase of alcohol, gambling products, cash-like gift cards or to withdraw cash.

Most online shops (websites) accept the Cashless Debit Card with the exception of “blocked” merchants who sell restricted goods. A list of approved blocked merchants can be found at Indue’s website: https://cdc.indue.com.au/cardholder/where-can-i-shop-#blocked-list

Q17. Can the Cashless Debit Card be used to do my grocery shopping?

A17. You can use the Cashless Debit Card at all supermarkets and grocery stores that accept eftpos. The merchant does not have to apply to accept the Cashless Debit Card, just like any debit card it works at all stores which accept electronic payments.

eBay (including Paypal) and Catch of the day are blocked due to selling restricted items. The Cashless Debit Card can be used to shop online at Coles and Woolworths.

Q18. Can the Cashless Debit Card be used at a place that mostly sells food but some alcohol, like a café?

A18. Yes, most cafés will accept the Cashless Debit Card for the purchase of food.

Q19. Can the Cashless Debit Card be used at a place that mostly sells alcohol and some food, such as pubs?

A19. You may be able to use the Cashless Debit Card at places that mostly sell alcohol and some food, like pubs. However, you will only be able to purchase food and other non-alcoholic products at these places. You will also be unable to use the Cashless Debit Card for gambling at these places.

Q20. Can I make purchases using PayPal?

A20. PayPal is not approved for the Cashless Debit Card program. You can make a purchase using your Cashless Debit Card number and CVV from most online retailers. However, there are restrictions in place for businesses that sell alcohol including eBay and Amazon or sell gambling products.

In situations where it is not possible to purchase unrestricted goods with the Cashless Debit Card, contact the Cashless Debit Card Hotline on 1800 252 604 for assistance.

Q21. Can I pay for my hotel accommodation using the Cashless Debit Card?

A21. The Cashless Debit Card can be used anywhere that accepts eftpos or Visa nationwide including at hotels and restaurants. The Cashless Debit Card may only be used to purchase unrestricted items such as food or accommodation at hotels and restaurants and not alcohol.

Q23. Can the Cashless Debit Card be used to buy gift cards?

A23. The Cashless Debit Card can be used to buy most gift cards, it is only those gift cards that can be used to purchase gambling products, alcohol or to obtain access to cash that are blocked.

Q25. Can merchants refuse to serve me if I have a Cashless Debit Card?

A25. While the sale of items or provision of services to an individual is at the discretion of the merchant, Cashless Debit Card participants are protected by all standard consumer protection laws.

Q26. Do businesses that sell alcohol as well as other items such as food have to install two separate cash registers - one for the general public and one for users of the Cashless Debit Card?

A26. The Cashless Debit Card can be used at businesses that accept eftpos or Visa, nationwide, except at businesses that primarily sell takeaway alcohol or gambling products. If a business sells unrestricted goods, such as groceries, and restricted goods, such as alcohol, gambling products or some gift cards, they may be contacted by the Department of Social Services to discuss options for accepting the Cashless Debit Card. No businesses will have to install separate cash registers to accept the Cashless Debit Card.

Paying bills, loans and rent

Q27. How do I pay bills, including existing direct debits, with my new account?

A27. The Cashless Debit Card is designed to support a range of payment options for regular bills. This includes BPAY, some direct debit arrangements, or setting up recurring deductions.

  • To use BPAY or to set up recurring payments
    To pay bills you can log in to your Cashless Debit Card account at http://cdc.indue.com.au and use the ‘Transfers and BPAY’ link.
  • Direct debits
    To arrange direct debits you will need to provide your biller with your Cashless Debit Card BSB and Account Number.

If you have existing direct debit or transfer arrangements with your regular bank account, you may need to change them so they come out of your Cashless Debit Card. Please contact the Cashless Debit Card Hotline on 1800 252 604 for assistance.

Q28. How can I pay rent?

A28. There are a number of ways you can pay rent including Centrepay, the Rent Deduction Scheme and BPAY.

Centrepay and the Rent Deduction Scheme are available for most people who are receiving welfare payments. Centrepay and the Rent Deduction Scheme are paid before your payments are sent to your Cashless Debit Card, so they come from the restricted 80 per cent, and the 20 per cent paid to your regular account is not affected. 

Please contact Services Australia if you have any questions about your payments, Centrepay or the Rent Deduction Scheme.

If you have private rental arrangements with a real estate agent, you may be able to pay your rent using BPAY, direct debit or EFTPOS. Some real estate agents also accept Centrepay payments.

If you cannot use the above options, you should contact the Cashless Debit Card Hotline on 1800 252 604 to discuss alternative options including setting up transfers to your landlord’s account or your regular bank account.

Q29. Can I use the Cashless Debit Card to repay my loan?

A29. Most loans (e.g. mortgage, personal, and car loans) can be paid directly using the
Cashless Debit Card by either direct debit or BPAY, including scheduling regular payments.

Where necessary, local partners or the Cashless Debit Card Hotline can assist you to set up loan repayments from the Cashless Debit Card account. This can include increasing your housing or ‘other expenses’ transfer limit so you can retain existing repayment arrangements from your regular bank account. Requests to increase a transfer limit will require evidence.

Cash and savings

Q30. Will I still have access to cash for places that do not accept eftpos or Visasuch as op shops, local markets, local tradesmen and recreational activities?

A30. Yes. You will have access to 20 per cent (50 per cent for most participants in the Northern Territory and Cape York) of your welfare payment that you can withdraw as cash to use in circumstances where only cash is accepted, for example at school canteens, fetes and farmers markets.

If you were placed on the Cashless Debit Card in one of the first four sites, you can also transfer up to $200 per 28 days to your regular bank account. If additional cash is still required, you can contact the Cashless Debit Card Hotline on 1800 252 604 for further assistance. However, evidence of the need for additional cash will be required.

Most businesses in your community accept eftpos or Visa facilities and will accept payments from the Cashless Debit Card. Additionally, any merchants that do not currently accept eftpos or Visa can contact the Department of Social Services to discuss their options.

Q31. Does the Cashless Debit Card affect my credit rating?

A31. No. The Cashless Debit Card does not restrict a person’s ability to apply for a bank loan or to make loan repayments.

Q32. What happens if I need cash during natural disasters?

A32. The Department of Social Services and Services Australia work closely to jointly respond to emergency situations, such as natural disasters, to support participants as needed.
This can include providing access to additional cash from available Cashless Debit Card funds. You can complete this transfer online via your Indue account, or contact the Cashless Debit Card Hotline on 1800 252 604 to request the transfer from your Cashless Debit Card account to your regular bank account.

Q33. Can I build up savings in my Cashless Debit Card account?

A33. You are able to build up savings in your Cashless Debit Card account to make larger purchases items such as electrical appliances, vehicles or a holiday.

If you need access to funds you have saved in your Cashless Debit Card account as cash, you are able to request a transfer of this money into a regular bank account, by contacting the Cashless Debit Card Hotline on 1800 252 604. Evidence may be required.

Privacy and fraud protection

Q34. How is privacy maintained for the Cashless Debit Card?

A34. Any information shared between Indue and the Australian Government occurs in accordance with privacy law requirements. The Government only uses the data in accordance with the Australian Privacy Principles.

Q35. Are there fraud protections for the Cashless Debit Card?

A35. The Cashless Debit Card has sophisticated fraud control procedures.

Privacy issues are addressed in the legislation for the Cashless Debit Card, with safeguards in place to protect individual privacy. Any information shared between the Cashless Debit Card provider and the Government occurs within the requirements of privacy legislation. The Government only uses the data in accordance with the Australian Privacy Principles.

The data received by the Government from Indue is used for program compliance and helps the Government and Indue to ensure that Cashless Debit Card program participants are not subject to fraud.

Exits and exemptions

Q37. Can I exit the program?

A37. Once you are placed on the program, you will remain on the Cashless Debit Card so long as you continue meet the age and payment criteria, unless an application to exit the program is successful.

You are able to apply to exit the program if you can demonstrate reasonable and responsible management of your affairs (including financial affairs). For more information please refer to Services Australia’s website

Q38. How does a person get an exemption from the program?

A38. Participants can apply for a wellbeing exemption if being in the program would seriously risk their mental, physical or emotional wellbeing. To discuss a wellbeing exemption, the participant can:

  • · contact the Cashless Debit Card Hotline on 1800 252 604
  • · attend a Services Australia service centre.

A Services Australia social worker may also contact the participant to assess their wellbeing.

Further information

Q39. Does the Cashless Debit Card have fees?

A39. No, the Cashless Debit Card is a fee-free account for participants. You can check your account balance or transaction history for free. Lost or stolen cards are replaced at no charge to the account holder and the Cashless Debit Card provider Indue does not charge fees for purchases made using the Cashless Debit Card. Fees charged by merchants, may still apply.

Q40. Can you earn interest with the Cashless Debit Card?

A40. Yes, the Cashless Debit Card accrues interest (currently at 1 per cent, per annum), on money held in your Cashless Debit Card account. This is paid monthly on the last day of every month. For more details on earning interest on your account, see the ‘Conditions of Use’ on Indue website

Q41. What was considered in the Cashless Debit Card’s design?

A41. The Cashless Debit Card has been designed to minimise any possible perceptions of stigma. The Cashless Debit Card is a Visa debit card that looks and works like a regular bank card. The Cashless Debit Card is silver, a relatively common debit card colour with a number of silver cards currently available on the Australian market.

The Cashless Debit Card contains a participant’s account details, including their account number and BSB, on the back of their card for ease of use.

Q42. What if my Cashless Debit Card is lost, stolen or damaged?

A42. If your Cashless Debit Card is lost, stolen or damaged you should call the Indue Customer Service Centre on 1800 710 265 or log in to your account immediately to arrange to block the Cashless Debit Card and order a replacement card.

Nominated Australia Post and Local Partners can issue temporary cards. A list of locations is available on the Indue Website. Services Australia service centres nationwide can also issue temporary cards.

You can block your Cashless Debit Card by going online and following the steps below:

1. Log in to http://cdc.indue.com.au

2. Click on the ‘Settings’ link

3. Click on the ‘Block Card’ link

4. Click on ‘Block Card’ button

Remember that when you block your Cashless Debit Card, you are not blocking your online account. Once you block your card, it cannot be unblocked and a replacement card will need to be requested.

Q43. If I have lost my Cashless Debit Card can I still access my money?

A43. Yes, you can still access your funds online as long as you remember your username and password.

You will still be able to continue to make purchases online or with BPAY and are able to transfer money into another Cashless Debit Card account.

Participants can also access a temporary card that can be used until they activate their replacement card. Temporary cards are available at nominated Australia Post and Local Partners. A list of locations is available on the Indue Website. Services Australia service centres nationwide can also issue temporary cards.

Q44. How is the Cashless Debit Card different from Income Management?

A44. The Cashless Debit Card has been designed by the Government to provide a better technology and user experience as alternative cashless welfare mechanism to that offered by Income Management.

Income Management is a valuable tool in many locations across Australia, which has led to an improvement in the lives of many people. The Cashless Debit Card is not an expansion of Income Management. It is a separate initiative that builds on Income Management and implements new ideas and technologies that have been developed with industry and communities.

For more information on the differences between Income Management and the Cashless Debit Card please contact the Department of Social Services.

Q45. Is the Cashless Debit Card the same as the BasicsCard?

A45. No. The Cashless Debit Card is an alternative cashless welfare mechanism that builds on learnings from the BasicsCard provided to Income Management participants, and implements new ideas and technologies. The Cashless Debit Card provides participants with greater flexibility and consumer choice.

Q46. Can I give my Cashless Debit Card to someone else to use?

A46. No, this is your Cashless Debit Card and it should not be given to anyone else to use. The money in your account is your money and you should not allow others to use your Cashless Debit Card.

Additional support

Q47. What if I am experiencing financial hardship or am in an emergency situation?

A47. Cashless Debit Card participants continue to have access to regular Services Australia emergency support services, including advance payments, crisis payments and Special Benefit. These are administered by Services Australia, in line with current practices. If you are experiencing financial hardship or require further assistance, you are encouraged to contact the Cashless Debit Card Hotline on 1800 252 604 who will direct you to the appropriate area to discuss your options.

Q48. Where can I get more information?

A48. Contact the Cashless Debit Card Hotline by phone on 1800 252 604.

People on the Cashless Debit Card can also contact the card provider Indue for assistance on 1800 710 265 or go to http://cdc.indue.com.au

Calls to both Indue and the Cashless Debit Card Hotline are free from landlines and most mobiles (depending on your provider), and operate in business hours.

Last updated: