Almost half of New Zealand businesses considering going cashless in next 10 years

The future of cash in New Zealand is uncertain with COVID-19 accelerating the move to a cashless economy. 

Retail NZ says close to half of its members are considering going cashless in coming years causing concern for the elderly and homeless communities. 

The ca-ching of a till filled with cold hard cash is a rare sound on the streets of New Zealand.

It's been replaced by a modern-day playlist of pin-entering and paywave.

Goodness Gracious Cafe started declining cash completely when COVID hit, with owner Greg Cornes saying 99 percent of the store's transactions were cashless anyway. 

"[It's] saved a lot of money, in terms of paying staff to cash up at the end of the day, security, the benefits definitely outweigh the negative," he told Newshub.

And they're not alone. Greg Harford from Retail NZ says over the two to 10 years, almost half of its members will be considering phasing out cash. 

"It's cleaner and more hygienic, you don't have to use cash that's been through many, many hands or use a pin-pad," he says. 

Legally shops don't have to accept cash, or cheques for that matter, but they do have to clearly indicate to you, before you do business with them, that they do not accept payments of that kind. 

For the elderly community, it's a worrying trend as many still rely on cash.  It's what drives barber Ken Penny's decision to collect his pennies the old-fashioned way. 

"I look at the elderly, they rely on cash."

He's done 50 years of business in Manurewa, completely card-free.

"It's quite a standing joke, that KP doesn't have eftpos."

But even he knows change is coming, and it's not going to ca-ching like he's used to.