Paying bills with cash at the bank

Went to NAB to pay my credit card.Took with me $45 worth of loose change in bags.Went to the counter and they said you can’t pay that here anymore you need to use the Flexi-Teller or go to the Post Office.I was very surprised especially since i had all these coins i wanted to get rid of.They were happy to take the coins off me but still had to pay it elsewhere.I feel sorry for the workers in this position.What happens when businesses what to take there daily earnings to the bank.What about the good old piggy bank probably no point having one of those anymore.We still use cash and that won’t be going anywhere.But for banks to head down this road no doubt more banks will close


When you say they were happy to take the coins off you, does that mean they would swap the coins for some notes? Or perhaps deposit that in your everyday account?
I know I had a cheque to deposit a few years ago and the teller would not accept it.
The very helpful teller came out from behind the security area, walked me outside to the ATM, and showed me how to deposit my cheque using the machine.


They swapped me over for notes to pay for it at the Flexi-Teller or the Post Office

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The rules (and fees!) are probably different for business accounts.

Even businesses are probably taking in less as cash these days i.e. more electronic payments.

I’ve done a fair bit of collecting for charity and had no problem depositing vast numbers of coins. Probably the rules are different for not-for-profits too. We sort and bag before going in to the bank. The bank weighs the bags to check our work.


Fair comment

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Same thing happened to me at Commbank a few years back. “oh no, you don’t pay that in here anymore” “go out to the auto teller and do it there”. Haven’t set foot in a bank since then. I do it all online. Spare cash is spent, one way or another, though I seem to be gathering more than I want in my wallet, which i have not used since 2019 (except to open it to put more in)


Confirms my suspicion: NAB are NOT interested in personal customers any more.


I have good friend who collects coins. Interestingly he’s a NAB customer. Every week he collects/swaps several hundred dollars in coins, to search through for the ones he wants. He varies branches (between three) to allow for a degree of randomness in the search. He’s accommodated well, so far, but is personable which might make a difference. I reckon he’s running out of options for new product!


It may be considered splitting hairs, but it’s possible they refused them because it was for a payment. S16 of he Currency Act stipulates payment of coins are legal tender if:

"… (a) in the case of coins of the denomination of Five cents, Ten cents, Twenty cents or Fifty cents or coins of 2 or more of those denominations—for payment of an amount not exceeding $5 but for no greater amount;

"(b) in the case of coins of the denomination of One cent or Two cents or coins of both of those denominations—for payment of an amount not exceeding 20 cents but for no greater amount; [1 and 2c coins are still legal tender]

"(c) in the case of coins of a denomination greater than Fifty cents but less than Ten dollars—for payment of an amount not exceeding 10 times the face value of a coin of the denomination concerned but for no greater amount;

"(d) in the case of coins of the denomination of Ten dollars—for payment of an amount not exceeding $100 but for no greater amount; and

“(e) in the case of coins of another denomination—for payment of any amount.”

If the amount of coins exceed this amount any business has the right to refuse the payment.

There was a case in 2013 where a man tried paying a $60 parking fine from the Adelaide City Council with 5c cent coins, and the payment was refused. Man tries to pay Adelaide City Council parking fine with 5c pieces – and posts results on LiveLeak | The Advertiser (


Since the payment was being made at and I assume (always dangerous to do so) to the NAB as card issuer I think that would be a seriously bad precedent/defence by NAB.

When a bank declines to provide deposit or payment acceptance for legal tender, especially when being paid to itself, it would reasonably be cause for concern. ‘What is a bank?’

Might such ‘antics’ evolve to a bank only accepting its [card | loan | whatever] payments by EFT or Bpay or direct debit from a NAB (or other bank) account to NAB? Some probably see no worries since it is a small weapon to assure an under-radar cash economy does not prosper, yet it remains a troubling precedent. Would a maximum of 10 Australian bank notes be next?

Children will need to be taught the piggy bank ideal of years ago is well beyond its use-by date and saving coins is problematic rather than an activity to be reinforced unless one is a coin collector.

Business are not required to decline such coin payments, but as a few posts on the Community reinforce some do, and this topic is about the NAB, not just a regular business, and if S16 plays any part is purely speculative in searching for a ‘why’ so my post is similarly speculative.

S16 makes sense in a context where someone tries to pay for a tank of petrol with $10s of dollars in small coins at the servo or grocery, but when it disadvantages those who are on struggle street or just save the odd coin toward their bills it seems to be BAU prioritising business at the expense of everyday consumers.

Reigning in someone making a statement [trying to] pay a fine with small coins? Councils can be as arrogant as they wish in how they operate, why not their citizenry in response?

An older allied topic is


They didn’t refuse accepting the coins, the NAB happily accepted them.

The issue was they wouldn’t allow the payment of the credit card account at the bank branch by the teller, one had to go to a Flexi Teller or post office. It appears either the computers the bank tellers use don’t have such abilities (or tellers are no longer trained on how to do such payments) or it is cheaper for the bank for customers to use non-contact methods. It could be both, but possibly more likely the later.

The more functions which are non-contact, the less front line bank staff are needed, the less branches required thus reducing the bank’s operating costs. I suspect this is why @Buzz3 titled the thread ‘More Banks To Close’.


There is too much being read into this.

It costs banks a small amount per customer and per transaction to have Internet banking services for things like paying bills or transferring money.
It costs more to provide such services as depositing or withdrawing or transferring by ATM.
But it costs hugely more to provide such services using a branch and paid staff.
Banks want to push transactions which make them no money to the cheapest method, and concentrate on staff in branches dealing with things that do make money, like new customers, opening investment accounts, loans, etc.

It is worth noting that Aust Post does not offer bill paying services for free. They charge companies. If a company did not offer an Aust Post payment option on their bill, then AP would likely send you away too.

I wonder how users of bank branch facilities would feel if the bank charged a transaction fee, to cover their costs?

I am also very sure that if you went to a teller in a branch to pay your bank issued CC by a transfer of money or using cash, they would not refuse. My mother is not on the Internet and is not comfortable using ATMs on the street. The tellers facilitate what she needs to do.

Oh, and the bank is NAB.

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There was an article in the AGE about this topic. Apparently banks are trying to get away from cash transactions. However, I also read that the NAB will again allow customers to pay credit card debts by cash. I wanted to point out that in the war zone (Ukraine), some ATMs have run out of money, in some cases there is no electricity and therefore cash is very useful, if people want to buy petrol to leave the country. Maybe it is very shortsighted to phase out cash without considering all possible implications.


I was thinking about cash today when I went to the supermarket.
Since the start of the pandemic, I have maybe paid around $30 for things in cash; it has been paying by card.
But I heard about Tasmania being cut off from the networks very recently when some clown cut through one of the fibreoptic links, and some other error lead to the disabling of another.
How do you you pay for something if the “computer is down”?
So I asked for a cash out of $200 when paying by card. Hmm, said the checkout person. I think I know how to do that but it has been a long time.
Anyway, I have some nice notes in the wallet now, just in case. :smiley:


Yes, and picking up on @Gregr’s point … in some cases even if there is electricity, there has been bomb damage to the telecommunications infrastructure and so electronic transactions might not be possible anyway.

There was a time when you could do a credit card transaction on paper but in a war zone, a merchant might be unwilling to do that because the risk is then on the merchant that the transaction does not subsequently make it to the card network.

Even crypto is unviable in a severely damaged war zone.

Cash is king !


Maybe not so good if your cash is Rubles lately.


I think it is spelled “Rubble” these days.


As the discussion has gone, a related topic dormant since July 2021


The bank did accept the payment in cash. The payment needed to be made via the flexi-teller in $$ notes because the flexi-teller supplied paper envelopes would not hold $45 in coins.

When depositing a volume of $ notes at a bank, the tellers use a counting machine to eliminate counting error and reduce the time taken. I remember when there were coin counting machines behind the tellers, but I haven’t seen that for a long time.

Since it was refurbished years ago, in my bank the only coin counting machine is out in the public area and even the bank tellers walk out to use it. Again, I assume that it is used to reduce error and the time taken to sort, count, and disperse the coins. Never having used it, I think that the coin counter provides the customer with a receipt which is taken to the teller who then deposits it or provides the equivalent $$ notes. I have seen both businesses and individuals deposit small and large volumes of coins. I just do not understand why this would be a problem as suggested by @Buzz3.

@Buzz3 received $45 in notes to deposit into the flexi-teller with the bill, or to take to the PO.

So the issue is not about the change per se, it is about the flex-teller not being designed to accept a large quantity ($45) of change. It is noteworthy that the bank assisted in circumnavigating this problem by converting the change to $ notes.

Perhaps someone could provide the correct information if I am wrong, but I believe that the bank staff remove any excess funds and envelopes with deposits and payments after the bank has closed. They also deposit the necessary denomination bills into the flexi-teller so it has the correct ‘float’ for the next day. I can’t remember how the envelopes are dealt with any more; whether they are handled at the bank or sent off somewhere else. Either way, the envelopes are dealt with in a batch out of business hours, instead of the tellers doing it during business hours. This in turn means that they can deal with customers faster. Win-Win.

It should be noted, that if you pay a bill on-line, it is mostly not dealt with till the night when payments are dealt with in batch mode. So nothing is lost by the bank dealing with the bills out of business hours.

I agree that the banks try very hard to reduce the number of humans required to service their clients. What I don’t understand is the suggestion that more banks will be closed because the flexi-tellers won’t accept a large volume of coins.

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My interpretation of the issue raised is that the 2-step process seemed like unnecessary make work for a customer. eg 'Why can’t a teller accept the coins (or the receipt for the coins from the machine) and apply that amount to an account rather than sending the customer to deal with an ATM or post office?

If a teller cannot accept cash or coin payments and the customers have to go to the ATM or post office, that is one less transaction on the branch statistics. As the tellers provide fewer services because they are unable (policy?) the ‘accountants’ may have ever more justification to eliminate the branch.