As more retailers go cashless, consumers find themselves left behind
- Not all are comfortable with the trend towards cashlessness.
- Some people are taking their shopping to cash-friendly establishments.
The rising trend of retailers refusing to accept cash is having negative consequences on consumers. A growing number of retailers like Sweetgreen and Drybar don’t accept cash at their retail locations. Some consumers are taking their business elsewhere to more cash-friendly firms.
Why this is important: Consumers, who either have forgotten their cards or don’t generally use them, are feeling shut out, a byproduct of the march to digital payments and credit cards.
Going fully cashless also penalizes certain groups. A full move to a cashless society “could handicap those who are poor or in debt, disabled people, rural families and anyone who may be at risk of having their finances controlled by an abuser,” according to a report published in the U.K. last month.
According to the WSJ, cash still represents 30 percent of all transactions and 55 percent of those under $10.
Negative backlash against cashless payments: In the U.S., lawmakers in New York are trying to make cash-free cafes illegal. Sweden, which was well on its way to cashlessness, is finding its own march interrupted by people uncomfortable with the change. Germans stubbornly hold onto their cash.
While some countries chafe against changing payment options, China is well on its way to becoming a cashless society. Even panhandlers accept WeChat Pay.
Offering the ability to pay in cash could eventually turn out to be a differentiator for a retailer.
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