Man using credit card reader, close-up
Photo Credit: Westend61.


Cashless Debit Card

A debit card to help build healthy people, families and communities.

What we do

The Cashless Debit Card works as an effective tool to help minimise the social harm caused by excessive alcohol consumption, illegal drug use and gambling.

The process

The Cashless Debit Card looks and works just like a regular bank card, except it cannot be used to buy alcohol, gambling products or to withdraw cash. Card holders receive 80 per cent of their welfare benefit on the card. The other 20 per cent is deposited into a standard bank account and is available to be withdrawn as cash.

The card works in any store that accepts EFTPOS, at approved online stores, for online banking and to pay bills.

Research to date tells us the Cashless Debit Card plays a critical role as a circuit breaker. An independent evaluation after just over 12 months of Cashless Debit Card trials in Ceduna SA, and the East Kimberley WA concluded the card helped to reduce alcohol, drug and gambling use by up to 48 per cent.

The importance of giving back

Alcohol abuse, drug taking and excessive gambling are harmful to individuals and their families. We want our communities to thrive.

The Cashless Debit Card strikes a balance between allowing welfare recipients to make independent decisions about what they want to buy and helping to create safe communities.

If you wish to have the Cashless Debit Card in your community, make a request to your local member of Federal Parliament.

Generation One and the Department of Families and Social Services can provide further information on the Cashless Debit Card – just contact us.

  • The Cashless Debit Card commenced in the Ceduna region of South Australia on 15 March 2016.
  • The Cashless Debit Card commenced in the East Kimberley region of Western Australia on 26 April 2016.
  • A progressive roll-out of the Cashless Debit Card commenced in the Goldfields region of Western Australia on 26 March 2018.
  • The Cashless Debit Card commenced in the Hinkler region of Queensland on 29 January 2019.

Project members

Shelley Cable
Chief Executive Officer, Generation One
Ann Mills
Policy Analyst