Cashless Debit Card – Frequently Asked Questions

Q1. Why is the CDC program ending?    

The CDC was intended to limit the amount of cash available in communities in order to reduce social harm caused by alcohol, gambling and drug misuse. However, there is no clear evidence these objectives were achieved.

Q2. When does CDC end?     

Since 3 October 2022, participants have been able to choose what they want to do when the CDC program ends in:

  • Ceduna and surrounding regions, South Australia
  • East Kimberley region, Western Australia
  • Goldfields region, Western Australia
  • Bundaberg and Hervey Bay region, Queensland

Participants can either volunteer for the program or move to self-managed payments.

People who have volunteered for the CDC program will automatically move to enhanced Income Management on 6 March 2023.

CDC participants in Cape York and Doomadgee region or the Northern Territory will remain on the program and move to enhanced Income Management on 6 March 2023 if they are eligible.

Q3. How do I end my participation?    

If you are outside the Cape York and Doomadgee region or the Northern Territory, you can request to leave the program by:

  • going to servicesaustralia.gov.au/debitcard 
  • calling 1800 252 604; or
  • visiting a Centrelink Service Centre.

If you got your card in the Cape York and Doomadgee region or the Northern Territory, you will remain on the CDC program and move to enhanced Income Management on 6 March 2023 if eligible.

Services Australia will write to participants in the Cape York and Doomadgee region or the Northern Territory outlining these changes soon. You do not need to do anything now.

Q4.What happens if I end my participation in the CDC program?    

When participation ends, you will have:

  • future income support payments made to your personal account;
  • any unspent funds in your CDC account, sent to your personal account as a lump sum;
  • your CDC account will close; and
  • the option to volunteer for the program or enhanced Income Management (depending on which program is operating in your area at the time)

All regular payments that you had set up from your card or online account will also stop. You will need to set up these deductions from another account. This includes payments such as rent, phone, electricity and Buy Now Pay Later services. 

Support is available if you need assistance with setting up new direct debits, rent or other bills, and help with budgeting at moneysmart.gov.au 

Q5.How will I know that my participation has ended?

After you have made contact to end your participation, Services Australia will send a letter to advise you that you are no longer in the program. 

Letters will be delivered based on your preferred method (post, online, myGov) and will be sent based on when the CDC is ending in your location.

Q6.Can I stay on the CDC program?    

If you currently live in Ceduna, East Kimberley, Goldfields or Bundaberg and Hervey Bay regions, you can choose to volunteer for the CDC program. As a volunteer, Services Australia will pay the same percentage that you received when you were on the CDC program (e.g. 80%).

Alternatively, you can go to servicesaustralia.gov.au/debitcard or call the Cashless Debit Card Hotline on 1800 252 604 for more information on how to volunteer.

If you volunteer, you will move to enhanced Income Management on 6 March 2023. On voluntary enhanced Income Management, 50% of your regular payments and 100% of lump sum payments will be paid into your income managed account.

Q7.I live in the Cape York and Doomadgee region, what does this mean for me?

If you live in the Cape York and Doomadgee region, you will automatically move from the CDC program to the enhanced Income Management program on 6 March 2023, if you are eligible. You do not need to contact us, this will happen automatically for you. We will send you letters to let you know about the change. If you have an enquiry about your current Notice, you need to contact the Family Responsibilities Commission (FRC).

Q8.I live in the Northern Territory, what does this mean for me?

If you live in the Northern Territory, you will automatically move from the CDC program to the enhanced Income Management program on 6 March 2023, if you are eligible. 

You do not need to contact us, this will happen automatically for you. We will send you letters to let you know about the change. Important Note: new and existing Income Management customers in the Northern Territory are not eligible for enhanced Income Management. They will remain on their Income Management measure with a BasicsCard.

Q9.Why is the NT different to everywhere else? 

In the Northern Territory, everyone who is eligible will transition to enhanced Income Management on 6 March 2023, leaving no one on the CDC. 

Income Management continues to operate in the Northern Territory, with previous CDC participants eligible for Income Management being transitioned to enhanced Income Management. This arrangement will ensure consistency within the Northern Territory while the Government continues to consult with communities and First Nations leaders on the future of Income Management.

Q10.What support is available?    

When you contact Services Australia and request to come off the CDC program, you will be offered a support discussion. 

The level of support provided will depend on your circumstances and be tailored to suit your needs. During the support discussion, Services Australia will discuss:

  • what regular payments are currently set up from your CDC account;
  • how to make alternative arrangements for your regular payments, including the option of using Centrepay or the Rent Deduction Scheme (RDS);
  • residual CDC funds and account closure;
  • support services, including financial services, social workers and local services in your area; and 
  • voluntary program eligibility.

Q11.Where can I get additional support?

There are a range of local support service providers to assist people as they come off the Cashless Debit Card, volunteer for the CDC or move to enhanced Income Management including: 

  • emergency relief
  • financial counselling services
  • mental health services
  • drug and alcohol rehabilitation
  • additional family support services
  • targeted youth services.

A Support Service Directory is now available which lists a range of services in each Cashless Debit Card location. You can view the support services directory information for your location here: dss.gov.au/supportservices 

The Disability Gateway is a free Australia-wide service to help people with disability, their families and carers find trusted information and services. 

Visit www.disabilitygateway.gov.au or call 1800 643 787. The Disability Gateway phone line is available Monday to Friday, 8 am to 8 pm AEDT.

Q12.What happens to the deductions I have setup through my CDC account?

You will need to change how you pay your regular bills and payments when your CDC account closes. This includes payments like rent, phone, electricity and Buy Now Pay Later services such as Afterpay or Zip Pay.

You can find a list of your regular bills and payments by looking at your CDC online account or by calling Indue on 1800 710 265 (call charges may apply).

Q13.How long do I have before I need to change my deductions?

You will need to arrange to pay your bills before your CDC account closes. 

Q14.I have Afterpay payments scheduled, what should I do if I choose to end my participation in the CDC program?    

You will need to change the income support payment instruction from your CDC account to your personal bank account before your next scheduled payment. 

Do this soon to avoid missing any payments or incurring late fees from your Afterpay provider as your regular income support payments to your CDC account will stop.
Be aware that Buy Now Pay Later providers have different terms and conditions and you may be charged fees if your payments default.
 
You can contact your provider directly to discuss any future deductions or log into your Buy Now Pay Later online services. You can also visit Buy now pay later services – Moneysmart.gov.au for more information 

Q15.I have Centrepay and rent deductions setup. What will happen to them if I choose to end my participation in the CDC program?

If you have Centrepay and/or Rent Deduction Scheme deductions set up, these will continue as normal. You do not need to do anything. 

Q16.When will my CDC account and card close if I choose to end my participation in the CDC program?

Your CDC account and card will close within 14 days of you choosing to end your participation in the CDC program. 

Q17.Can I continue using my card?

You can continue to use your card up until your account has been closed.

Q18.How can I check my account balance?

There are five ways to check your account balance:

  1. Online by logging in to your account at http://cdc.indue.com.au (link is external)
  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 CDC 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 (link is external)
  5. Call the Indue Customer Service Centre on 1800 710 265. There are no fees charged for any methods of balance checking.

Q19.Does my CDC have payWave or contactless capability?

If the card has the payWave 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.

Q20.What will happen to any unspent funds in my CDC account when I end my participation in the CDC program?    

The card provider will return any unspent funds to your personal bank account as a lump sum. 

Q21.I live in the NT, can I still choose between card issuers?

If you live in the Northern Territory and are still participating in the program, you can continue to switch card issuers. 

You can select your preferred card issuer between:

  • Traditional Credit Union (TCU), and
  • Indue

For more information, see who can help with your Cashless Debit Card 

Enhanced Income Management 

Q22.What is enhanced Income Management?

Enhanced Income Management will commence early in 2023 and mirrors the policy parameters of Income Management, including eligibility, quarantined rates and restricted goods i.e. tobacco and pornography will no longer be able to be purchased.

Enhanced Income Management involves setting aside a percentage of your income support payment 

All participants on enhanced Income Management will receive client services provided by Services Australia. 

Q23.Is enhanced Income Management the same as the CDC program?

If you move to enhanced Income Management, you will experience some differences compared to the CDC program. 

Some of the key differences of enhanced Income Management, will mean that you:

  • cannot buy tobacco and pornography with your card
  • cannot be deemed financially capable to exit the program (exit application) however you can apply for a 12 month exemption under the same reason (exemptions are excluded in you live in the Cape York and Doomadgee regions)
  • will not earn interest on your managed account.

Q24.Am I eligible for enhanced Income Management?

Eligibility for enhanced Income Management depends on your circumstances.

On the 6 March 2023, CDC participants will automatically move onto enhanced Income Management, if eligible. This applies if you were on:

  • compulsory or voluntary CDC in the Cape York and Doomadgee region or the Northern Territory; or
  • voluntary CDC in Ceduna, Bundaberg and Hervey Bay, East Kimberley or the Goldfields regions.

To be eligible for enhanced Income Management on the 6 March 2023 you must:

  • be referred to Income Management by the Family Responsibilities Commission (FRC) in the Cape York and Doomadgee region, or
  • reside in Ceduna, Bundaberg and Hervey Bay, East Kimberley or the Goldfields regions and volunteer for enhanced Income Management

Important Note: new and existing Income Management customers in the Northern Territory are not eligible for enhanced Income Management. They will remain on their Income Management measure with a BasicsCard for the time being.

Q25.Can I volunteer for enhanced Income Management?

If you are eligible, you can volunteer for enhanced Income Management on 6 March 2023. You will have access to new enhanced card technology.

On voluntary enhanced Income Management, 50% of your regular payments and 100% of lump sum payments will be paid into your income managed account.

You can go to servicesaustralia.gov.au/debitcard call the Cashless Debit Card Hotline on 1800 252 604 for more information on how to volunteer.

Q26.Will my quarantined percentage of my payments change under enhanced Income Management?  

If you live in the Cape York and Doomadgee regions or the Northern Territory, you will retain the same quarantine percentage you had under the CDC program.

Note: the Family Responsibilities Commission (FRC) can vary your percentage if you live in the Cape York and Doomadgee regions. 

If you live outside the Cape York and Doomadgee regions and the Northern Territory your quarantine percentage will reduce from 80% to 50% under the new enhanced Income Management service offer. 

Everyone, regardless of location, will have 100% of lump sum payments quarantined.

Q27.What type of card can I use on enhanced Income Management?    

If you move to enhanced Income Management, you will have access to enhanced card technology.

You can use your card to access your income managed funds by:

  • shopping at over 1 million places with EFTPOS around Australia and online
  • setting up regular expenses via BPAY and direct debit from your card or account 

The card operates the same way as a normal bankcard except it cannot be used to buy alcohol, tobacco, pornography, gambling products, withdraw cash or purchase cash like products.

Q28.When will Income Management end?

The Australian Government will undertake further community consultation on the future of the Income Management program.

Additional information 

Q29.If I don’t agree with a decision what can I do? 

If you do not understand or agree with a decision relating to any Income Management measure, you can:

  • request an explanation of the decision, or
  • apply for a formal review 

If a decision is being reviewed under social security law, Income Management continues to apply until the review is finalised.

For more information, see Services Australia - reviews and appeals 

Q30.Why aren’t I getting the old BasicsCard (green card)?

The Australian Government has committed to updated technology for people moving to enhanced Income Management. 

This means that existing CDC participants moving to enhanced Income Management continue to access more merchants, facilitate BPAY and shop online.

Q31.Where can the CDC be used?

The CDC 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.

Q32.Can I use my CDC to purchase items from eBay and Gumtree?

Participants are able to make purchases online using their CDC 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.


Q33.Can the CDC be used in any shop or business including online shopping?

Most online shops (websites) accept the CDC 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 (link is external)

Q34.Can the CDC be used to do my grocery shopping?

You can use the CDC at all supermarkets and grocery stores that accept eftpos. 

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

Q35.Can I make purchases using PayPal?

PayPal is not approved for the CDC program. You can make a purchase using your CDC 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 CDC Hotline on 1800 252 604 for assistance.

Q36.Can I build up savings in my CDC account?

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

Q37.Where can I get more information?    

For more information:

  • go to servicesaustralia.gov.au/debitcard 
  • call the Cashless Debit Card Hotline on 1800 252 604; or
  • visit a Services Australia Service Centre.


 

Last updated: