By  Garry Duursma, Head, Market Development and Innovation for MasterCard and Russell Zimmerman, Executive Director of the Australian Retailers Association.

New research showsthat a vast majority of Australians are avoiding shops that have a minimum spend for card transactions.  This translates to a 40% loss of potential customers for Australian retailers who are not offering card payment option for low-value transactions. Two in five Australian cardholders avoid shops that don’t provide card payment options for low-value transactions

This means Australian Retailers stand to gain Forty percent more business from Zero Dollar Minimum participation 

Australian payment providers today unveiled the call for a Zero Dollar Minimum encouraging retailers to provide customers the choice to make cashless transactions with no restrictions.

The campaign arrived on the back of new research commissioned by MasterCard, which revealed Australian businesses are missing up to forty percent of their business by not offering consumers the choice to make payments of any size with their choice of payment form. 

Participating retailers will offer consumers the choice to embrace the speed and convenience of using cards for all sized transactions with no minimum spend requirement. 

The research of 1,010 Australian cardholders found that consumers are increasingly aggravated when they need to pay cash for smaller purchases or where there is a minimum spend requirement: 

84% resent restrictions such as paying a fee for smaller transactions.

62% find it frustrating when they can’t use cards for small transactions

44% avoid shops that do not allow the use of cards for small transactions

According to the research, younger consumers will not stand for restrictions and are voting with their feet by taking their patronage to where they are offered payment choice with no minimum spend limit. 

More than 70% of 18-34 year olds prefer cards for small transactions – more convenient than carrying small change

54% of 18-34 year olds actively avoid shops that do not accept cards for small transactions

“This research reinforces the need for retailers to listen to consumers and make purchasing from them as easy as possible,” said Russell Zimmerman, Executive Director of the Australian Retailers Association.

“To stay competitive and relevant as Australians increasingly turn to payment methods other than cash, retailers of all sizes should offer customers the convenience and choice they seek. In return they should be able to deliver additional value back to their bottom line.”

“The research found that two in five Australian cardholders say they avoid shops that don’t allow them to use cards for transactions. This means retailers who impose a minimum spend for consumers using a card are potentially losing out on a staggering forty percent of customers,” said Garry Duursma, Head, Market Development and Innovation for MasterCard. 

The benefits transcend the consumer through to the retailer with cashless payments being quicker, cleaner and safer: 

Quicker – with contactless technology payments are virtually instantaneous meaning faster queues and the ability to serve more customers, delivering value for the retailer  

Hygienic – not exchanging money means contaminated bills and coins don’t change hands

Safe – card transactions reduces the volume of cash handling and the amount of cash in the till therefore decreasing the risk of theft. 

“Australia leads the world in contactless payments with now 7 out of 10 MasterCard transactions being done in this way.  This has changed consumer expectation and behaviour on card payments.  Consumers have now found that a card payment is faster and more convenient than alternative payment methods.  With this reality in their minds, consumers don’t understand why a retailer would restrict card payments for low value transactions.  They make their frustration felt by voting with their feet,” said Duursma.   

To find out more about participating in the Zero Dollar Minimum campaign, please visit

About the Research: 

The study was conducted by Ipsos online in January 2016 using a sample of 1,010 Australian cardholders aged between 18-64 years old across Australia.