There has been some more backlash from consumers who want to pay for things with cash but encounter merchants who are migrating to a cashless operations as reported in USA Today. Consumers use cash because they want to or because that is their only readily available form of payment:
On a recent summer day, as Steffen Kaplan strolled down a New York City street looking for lunch, he grew frustrated: The first three places he looked at were cashless, which meant his dollar bills were no good.
Kaplan avoids using credit cards to prevent overspending. “It’s a great formula for staying out of debt,” he says.
But it was not a great formula for satisfying his hunger. And the more he thought about it, the more frustrated he grew that eateries were declining to accept cash.
“I don’t think it’s cool that you walk into a place and can’t buy anything,” says Kaplan, a social media visual consultant.
You can appreciate the merchants’ point of view that accepting cash can take time, costs money and occasionally goes missing. But denying consumers the opportunity to pay with cash, particularly unbanked populations with less access to or at least adoption of electronic payments, may be asking for regulators to step in to settle the matter. The state of Massachusetts has a law on the books stating:
Section 10A. No retail establishment offering goods and services for sale shall discriminate against a cash buyer by requiring the use of credit by a buyer in order to purchase such goods and services. All such retail establishments must accept legal tender when offered as payment by the buyer.
We will have to watch if this state law gets tested or if it adopted by other states. It would certainly put a crimp in Amazon’s plans to launch thousands of cashier – less stores.
Overview by Sarah Grotta, Director, Debit and Alternative Products Advisory Service at Mercator Advisory Group