Money & Banking

Natalie Barr's surprising grocery bill hack

Natalie Barr's surprising grocery bill hack

Sunrise newsreader Natalie Barr has shared the reason why she only pays in cash as Australia recovers from an EFTPOS outage.

The 51-year-old said on the breakfast TV show Friday morning that she did not notice the Telstra outage that impacted ATMs and EFTPOS machines across the country on Thursday afternoon.

The network problem, which disrupted electronic payments and reportedly cost businesses $100 million, was resolved at 7 pm on Thursday.

“Who are these people who still carry cash?” the show’s host Samantha Armytage remarked.

“I do,” Barr replied. “I take cash out every week and I try and spend it as a bit of a saving thing. I’ve been doing it for about a year. I use cash to buy my bread and my apples and I did not notice [the outage].

“You should see the look I get when I say, ‘Can I pay with cash?’”

The Thursday outage shut down ATMs and EFTPOS machines, resulting in retailers being unable to process card payments.

Telstra has attributed the national outage to “an unusually large volume of traffic” in NSW.

“We are continuing to investigate the exact cause of the issues but early investigations suggest it was caused by an unusually large volume of traffic across network links in NSW,” a spokesperson told the Sydney Morning Herald and The Age.

Dominique Lamb, CEO of the National Retailer's Association, said the outage may have cost the market up to $100 million and lead businesses to turn to other forms of payment such as Afterpay or Zip Pay, which were unaffected by the network issues.

“Right now retail is having a difficult time – it’s end of financial year sales, we’ve just had these tax cuts from the government,” Lamb said.

“Given both the time of day and the businesses affected, the Telstra outage certainly caused a large degree of inconvenience for both shoppers and retailers yesterday. Thursday being a popular day for late-night shopping would have also seen many consumers cancel shopping plans last night.

“Tax returns are coming in, people are out trying to spend their money. It’s the last thing retail needs.”