DENVER, Colo. – For decades now, we’ve heard the saying “cash is king,” but businesses are increasingly only taking credit cards.
From coffee shops to our favorite lunch places, we want to get in and get out, but is the need for convenience and speed at the expense of our nation’s currency?
The Corner Beet in Denver is among the restaurants that have dumped cash payments. General manager Diane Lares says they serve a lot of people in a short amount of time, because they are cashless.
“It’s as simple as tapping their phone or swiping their card and out they go,” said Lares. “We do get a surprise look here and there.
However, Lares says it’s something the customer is more adapted to these days and going cashless helps businesses save both time and money.
“Making sure the bank drop is correct, making sure the money gets there safely,” said Lares. “All that is avoided now. No cash counting, no money around, and no worries about theft.”
Ted Rossman with CreditCards.com says the downfall is that businesses risk shutting people out.
Massachusetts, Connecticut, New Jersey, Philadelphia and San Francisco have actually created laws banning cashless stores.
Last year, the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco found that 47 percent of transactions made by people who make less than $25,000 were in cash, while those making more than $100,000, only used it one out of four times.
"There are actually a lot of people who don't have access to debit cards and credit cards,” said Rossman. “About 8 percent of American households are completely unbanked."
Cashless businesses do take a financial hit every time a card is swiped. Credit card companies get a small percentage of the earnings.
Rossman says if you're someone who prefers to pay in cash, don't worry, it's not going away anytime soon.
"I think we will continue to see a slow shift, but it will be slow,” said Rossman. “Progress in the U.S. at least in payments tends to lag compared to other countries."
But at The Corner Beet, going cashless works for them and their customers.
“It also gives me a chance to learn about our guests or customers a little bit more,” said Lares. “I get to concentrate on their name and I get to know their drinks, because I don’t have to worry about did I give the right amount of change back.”