Woolworths has responded after an internal memo about the supermarket's cash-withdrawal policies was leaked online. According to the document, some big changes are being implemented at the checkout as shoppers continue to move away from using cash.
The note states that the cash withdrawal limit will be reduced to $200 per transaction in stores. Up until now, customers could withdraw up to $500 at Woolies supermarkets, although limits could vary according to how much cash was available.
While it's currently possible to withdraw money at Woolworths stores without buying anything, the document also mentions that cash withdrawals will only be possible if a customer makes a purchase.
Woolworths confirms change
The retailer has confirmed that withdrawal limits will be reduced in a statement to Yahoo News, revealing the changes will be rolled out over the coming weeks. "From mid September, we will be reducing the limit of cash customers can withdraw from our stores per transaction," a Woolworths spokesperson said.
Offering a reason for the change, the spokesperson said reducing the amount of cash handled in stores corresponds with customer habits. "This is due to the lack of cash being used in transactions, with the majority of customers opting for card-only transactions such as Everyday Pay," the spokesperson added.
Cash transactions to stay
The spokesperson clarified that there are no plans to do away with cash transactions altogether: "We understand cash remains an important payment option for some customers and that’s why we'll continue to offer the ability to withdraw cash."
Yahoo understands the changes will be implemented by the end of October, by which time cash withdrawals will not be possible unless a purchase is made.
The leaked document also states that keeping large volumes of cash in stores presents a security risk for team members. While the spokesperson didn't elaborate on this aspect of the memo, the retailer recently revealed it is introducing a raft of security measures to combat rampant shoplifting amid the cost-of-living crisis.
Woolies isn't the only supermarket chain experiencing a surge in retail crime, however, as Aussies increasingly go to extreme lengths to cope with rising grocery prices. In July it was revealed that "hundreds of thieves" are being caught every week in Coles stores as the retailer observes "an increase in theft which is an issue affecting all retailers across Australia and internationally."
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