In this digital age, anything is possible. Conjuring money out of thin air is even possible. The retail world in America is now slipping into a new way of doing business. It’s out with the cash and in with the credit and debit cards. Just like having gold coins used to be the way to pay for anything, now it’s all about what’s on your credit or debit card. As a matter of fact, things are about to get very interesting when cryptocurrency starts getting involved in all of this.
Let’s not get ahead of ourselves! It shouldn’t be a surprise if you walk into a store, buy a couple of things, you pull out the cash, and the cashier refuses to take it. This is becoming a widespread phenomenon in America. We’re going to briefly explain why it’s been happening and what you need to do about it.
Why Are Stores Turning Down Cash?
Well, let’s start with some more basic questions. Can a store refuse cash? Is it legal for stores to refuse cash? The answer is yes they can and the law can’t stop them, even though that’s terrible customer service! Even though cash is king, there are some valid reasons stores are going cashless.
- More Sanitary: Exchanging paper bills means exchanging more germs. No part of the body carries more germs than the hands themselves. Once cashiers handle cash, then germs can potentially spread anywhere. A simple swipe of the card sounds a lot more sanitary and perhaps can save a lot more lives.
- No More Burglaries: If there’s no cash in the register, there’s nothing to steal. If everything of value is stored electronically, stores can say goodbye to stickups because there won’t be any cash to steal.
- Employees Won’t Be Able to Steal: It doesn’t matter how many security cameras a store may have. If there’s cash, any employee can find a way to slip a $10, $20, or $100 bill into their pockets. When there’s a deficit when counting cash at the end of the day, management may think it is a miscount. But when you go cashless, then there’s no room for theft at all.
- No More Fake Bills: Fake or counterfeit bills will no longer be a concern for cashiers because all transactions require is a swipe. It’s going to be hard to pull a fast one in a cashless age!
- Less Expensive Equipment: No need for bulk cash registers. A swipe is all it takes! The payment will be complete with equipment as small as a calculator. Unfortunately, this may also entail that retailers will be hiring fewer people.
- Payment Process More Efficient: Swipe, swipe, and swipe is all it takes. Cashiers won’t have to look for the change for the customer. Additionally, customers won’t have to waste time waiting for the change either. The entire process is about shopping, swiping, and out you go!
Is There Anything You Can Do?
If you find that shopping at a cashless store is inconvenient, there are several things that you can do. First, you can notify store management about your displeasure with their policy. They would definitely value your feedback and would love to keep all customers happy. Who knows? Maybe they’ll give you something for free! Second, there are other alternatives to having a debit card. Those who don’t have bank accounts can use reloadable prepaid cards, such as Bluebird American Express. These cards are usually easy to use and don’t require a lot of technical know-how. Third, some experts say that concerned citizens can work hard to change state laws. But the problem is that this is a global trend that’s hard to resist. It isn’t far-fetched to see entire countries go cashless sometime in the future.
Disadvantages of Cashless World
Many people will endorse the world going cashless, but the fact of the matter is that there are huge disadvantages to this growing trend. It’s not as positive as all futurists may claim it to be.
At Risk of Privacy Breach
Make no mistake about it! A cashless world is a place where purchasing privacy will vanish. Whether you use your credit or debit card, records will show where you shop and what you shop for. Based on that, companies can have a deeper understanding of what your general interests are and what type of person you are in general. It will help them with their marketing research. So if you don’t want to be the guinea pig of corporate America, then this is definitely a bad thing.
Not Safe from Hackers
No matter how sophisticated security systems become, when it comes to digital/electronic devices, there will always be ways to get around them. This means that people’s finances could be in the hands of hackers. It is always important that those developing security software remain one step ahead of hackers. But the question comes, if paper money did the job, then why take the risk in the first place?
Technical Issues with Funding Access
Anybody who has seen the movie “Idiocracy” knows what that means. Though all these automated processes may sound sophisticated and futuristic, they can always glitch. Your debit or credit card could fail at any moment. It may not be because of a problem with your account, but maybe something at the bank itself. Technology was never made flawless and having it in different aspects of our lives is a risk that we will have to accept!
More Hidden Fees
Spending money may be one thing, but the fees charged by the payment provider could prove to be a burden in the long-run. This is a serious concern for people who need to save every penny they make.
May Start to Overspend
There’s also a big psychological factor involved in tempting people to overspend when going completely cashless. When you have cash in your hand and more visual awareness of how much you have, you will tend to limit how much you spend. But with a quick swipe of a debit card, you may find that you have less psychological awareness as to how much you are actually spending. When you take physical cash out of the equation, the visual relationship in spending behavior is really lost.