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Melb market taps into cashless economy

AAP logoAAP 24/11/2016 Luke Costin

The dreaded "Cash Only" signs will be nowhere to be seen at Melbourne's Rose St markets this weekend as traders embrace tap-and-go.

The Fitzroy markets will become the nation's first cashless market when all of its 70-odd traders are armed with a tap-and-go machine that attaches to their phone.

Even though the transactions can sometimes take longer than paying cash, Australians' enthusiasm for contactless payments is amongst the highest in the world.

ATM withdrawals are in decline while debit card transactions are increasing exponentially, according to the Australian Payments Clearing Association.

Rose St market trader Mitch Scott set up his bamboo-derived clothing business, Naked, a year ago.

He accepts card transactions on his mobile with an attachment made by US payments company Square.

He estimates four of every five sales are on plastic.

"I can go an entire day with no cash transactions," he told AAP on Thursday.

"My clothes are made of an innovative fabric so accepting payments with an innovative transaction system ties in well with my brand."

Research released in January by Mastercard suggests almost nine in 10 Australians have negative views of cash-only businesses.

Two in five said they think cash only businesses are doing something dodgy such as avoiding tax.

"Whether they're a large-scale retail operation, a cafe or, in this case, a mobile market trader, we want to make sure they can accept card payments," Square's Josh McNicol told AAP.

"Linking with Rose St means this traditional marketplace environment is transformed in a weekend and it's a little different and tech-focused.

"It's about enabling the traders to accept every payment."

Stalls open at 10am on Saturday and Sunday.

The first 30 customers lined up each day will get a $30 debit card.

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