Cash No Good: More Retailers Reject Paper Money

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Cashless society is a requirement for forcing everyone into a digital system, a goal for Fintech and Sustainable Development. Nobody has yet taken American retailers to court over the legality of refusing to accept cash, but according to the U.S. Treasury, each bill clearly states: “This note is legal tender for all debts, public and private.” ⁃ TN Editor

“Your cash is not wanted here”, a growing number of retailers and restaurants throughout the US and UK are telling customers. But are reasons being given by companies for the new “cashless” approach — speed, efficiency, and the safety of store employees — valid enough to require something as utterly and downright unAmerican as rejecting cash?

We think not, and unfortunately the trend of “cash not welcome here” establishments is growing, to the point that lawmakers are beginning to take note and could introduce legislation barring the practice, as Massachusetts has done already, and as the New Jersey State House could be set to do next. According to a Federal Reserve survey conducted in 2017 cited in The Wall Street Journalcash represented 30% of all transactions in America, with 55% of those being under $10.

Regardless of Americans’ longtime preference for plastic in most transactions, many of which take place online, research by the Federal Reserve found that cash is still king in terms of Americans’ daily lives and usage, and as the study concluded further, this remains true across all income levels:

Not only is cash used frequently for small value and in-person purchases, it is also used by a wide array of consumers. The data on cash use by household income provides two main insights. First, consumers make—on average—14 cash transactions per month, regardless of household income. It is also noteworthy that cash was the most, or second most, used payment instrument regardless of household income, indicating that its value to consumers as a payment instrument was not limited to lower income households that may be less likely to have access to an account at a financial institution.

But this reality is now pushing up against the new trend of the cashless restaurant, bar and retailer, and creating awkward and frustrating situations for consumers, as a new Wall Street Journal piece chronicles. In one scenario, a customer had to intervene on another’s behalf and play personal bank for a “card only” salon, even though there was plenty of cash on hand offered by the woman who couldn’t pay. Ironically, as the WSJ story notes, this created an “emergency”:

Sam Schreiber was mid-shampoo at a Drybar blow-dry salon in Los Angeles when someone from the front desk approached her stylist with an emergency: a woman was trying to pay for her blow-out with cash.

“There was this beat of silence,” says Ms. Schreiber, 33 years old. “She literally brought $40.”

More and more businesses like Drybar don’t want your money—the paper kind at least. It’s making things awkward for those who come ill prepared. After all, you can’t give back a hairdo, an already dressed salad or the two beers you already drank.

And in another situation where someone simply wanted to order a salad, but was refused upon presenting $20 cash, the rejected customer slammed the policy that created the whole awkward situation as elitist. The customer recounted for the WSJ:

Jaclyn Benton, 30, visited a Sweetgreen near her office in Reston, Va., last summer with $20 cash, but no credit or debit card because she had forgotten her wallet at home. When her order was ready and she went to pay, the cashier explained that the restaurant doesn’t take bills.

“It’s almost like when your credit card gets declined for silly reasons,” says Ms. Benton, who works as an event planner. “It makes you feel like you can’t afford it even though I had the money right there.”

Ms. Benton has no plans to go back: “It feels very elitist,” she says.

A Sweetgreen spokeswoman said its decision makes its team members safer amid the risk of robbery and improves the cleanliness and efficiency of the restaurants.

Another anecdote involved a 51-year old women left feeling humiliated at a Manhattan restaurant. Though the eatery proudly advertises that its food comes from “from farmers and partners as close to home as possible,” it apparently rejects your local cash.

Read full story here…

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Gary Remington

This article is rich with irony. For decades many of the same people who feared the advent of a cashless society also were aware that “legal tender” status was bestowed upon fiat currency to give it the patina of legitimacy and ensured that other, competing means of exchange did not push aside the paper money uttered by a central bank. Now, are we to embrace the farce of legal tender money to avoid the recording of our every sale and purchase? Flip a coin. Take out one of those steel clad quarters, a Johnson slug if you will. Toss it!… Read more »

Patrick Wood

Fiat currency is correct, but for the short term that one might hold it or use it to exchange, it is outside the scrutiny of the bank. Their goal is to remove cash so that the un-banked can be forced into the system to be tracked.

Jim
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Jim

First of all, This is nothing new in terms of the US code (yes i know it isnt law, per se, but even color of law – the “code” is enforced, so good luck avoiding it… i digress) “Section 31 U.S.C. 5103, entitled “Legal tender,” states: “United States coins and currency [including Federal reserve notes and circulating notes of Federal reserve banks and national banks] are legal tender for all debts, public charges, taxes, and dues.” This statute means that all United States money as identified above is a valid and legal offer of payment for debts when tendered to… Read more »

Jim
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Jim

(continued…) There is no law or code that prohibits this policy of refusing physical cash USD, so in fact if we wanted to stop it we would have to pass a law to do so. (they do have to accept US dollars, but they do not have to take those US dollars in the physical paper form. Any form of USD is legal.(ok, US cash is actually a “fiber cloth”, not really paper, to be precise)) As bad as the cashless society agenda is, it is not this “new” upcoming thing, but instead something that has had a legal framework… Read more »