Cashless Debit Card – Overview

The Commonwealth Government is looking at the best possible ways to provide support to people, families and communities in locations where high levels of welfare dependence exist alongside high levels of harm related to drug and alcohol abuse.

The Cashless Debit Card trial was designed to find an effective tool for supporting disadvantaged communities to reduce the consumption and effects of drugs, alcohol and gambling that impact on the health and wellbeing of communities, families and children.

On 14 March 2017 the Australian Government decided to extend the use of the Cashless Debit Card in Ceduna and the East Kimberley based on the results from the independent evaluation.

As part of the 2017-18 Budget, the Government announced that the Cashless Debit Card would be expanded to two new locations. The Government is consulting with communities around the country that have expressed an interest in the Cashless Debit Card as a possible tool to address the devastating impact of alcohol, drugs and gambling on their people.

How the Cashless Debit Card works

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.

The card can be used anywhere that accepts debit cards. It will work online, for shopping and paying bills. The Indue website lists the approved merchants (link is external) and excluded merchants (link is external) for the Cashless Debit Card.

Who does the Cashless Debit Card apply to?

All recipients of working age income support payments who live in the Ceduna region or the East Kimberley receive a Cashless Debit Card.

The full list of included payments is available on the Guides to Social Security Law website.

People on the Age Pension, a veteran’s payment or who earn a wage can volunteer for the Cashless Debit Card. Application forms for people who wish to volunteer can be downloaded from the Indue website (link is external).

How will it affect Centrelink payments?

The Cashless Debit Card doesn’t change the amount of money a person receives from Centrelink. It only changes the way in which people receive and spend their fortnightly payments:

  • 80 per cent is paid onto the cashless debit card
  • 20 per cent is paid into a person’s regular bank account.

Cashless Debit Card calculator

To work out how much will be paid onto your Cashless Debit Card, enter your fortnightly payment amount into the following calculator.

 

Money on the card 

Use it for:

  • Groceries
  • Pay bills
  • Buy clothes
  • Travel
  • Online

Anywhere with eftpos except:

  • No grog
  • No gambling
  • No cash
   

Note: 100% of lump sum payments will be placed on the card. More information is available on the Guides to Social Security Law website.

Evaluation of the Cashless Debit Card Trial

More information

For more information, email debitcardtrial@dss.gov.au or call 1800 252 604.

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