Cash and EFTPOS are both ways of paying for an item immediately using your own money. It's important to keep receipts when you pay for items in cash.

How it works

EFTPOS and debit cards access the money in your bank account. You can use the card at bank machines to withdraw cash, and at retailers to buy items using your own money.

Most retailers in New Zealand have EFTPOS terminals, but many businesses offering services may ask for other types of payment, like cash or direct credit payments into their bank accounts.

When paying with cash, the total cost will be rounded up or down to the nearest 10c. When paying by card, you pay the exact amount.

Sometimes, when paying for larger items in full with cash or EFTPOS, you may be able to negotiate a better price or special deal, eg no delivery fees. But it is up to the retailer whether or not they want to do this.

You may also come across payment surcharges when using your contactless debit card to make a payment. This is because there is an additional cost to the retailer due to the different technology and systems used to process the payment. If you wish to avoid paying a surcharge, you can insert or swipe your debit or EFTPOS card.

Card payment surcharges

Always double-check the amount on the EFTPOS terminal before entering your PIN — it can be easy to be charged the wrong amount, especially in stores like dairies where the retailer enters the amount manually.

If things go wrong

Always keep your receipts or invoices, especially if you have paid cash, as this may be the only proof of your payment.

How to complain

If you think your EFTPOS or debit card has been used fraudulently, contact your bank immediately. Banks will usually cover any losses from fraudulent transactions if you took reasonable care of your card, you kept your Personal Identification Number (PIN) safe and didn’t share it with anyone, and you have complied with the terms and conditions for your account. Banks do not cover losses if the card owner has been dishonest or negligent.

When entering your PIN on an EFTPOS machine, make sure nobody is watching or cover the keys as you enter them.