One of my Millennial friends told me the story of how she went with friends to a local eatery and was stunned to learn that they did not accept credit cards or even debit cards under a certain amount. The group ended up combining their bills so someone could use a debit card as none of them had enough cash for their meal.

Two major discounters who have long avoided accepting credit cards (presumably because of the vendor fees they incur) have felt the sting of customers who don’t carry cash. Recently Sam’s Club and Aldi grocery stores have caved into consumer demand and reversed their practices. Both now take all major credit cards for the first time in their history. I would bet they will see an uptick in overall sales, if from nothing else than from impulse purchases.

Even smaller vendors have been impacted by the lack of cash-carrying customers. The university that included laundry in their residence hall package did so in part because the president believes “quarters are obsolete.” Parking meters have gone to app-driven payment. Our Farmer’s Market allows you to use a credit card to buy tickets that can be used at market booths. Other examples abound.

Think about where you have situations that require cash payments. Would your raffle ticket sales increase if you had a credit option? How about your concessions at an event? Even your garage sale might increase its proceeds if customers could buy your big ticket items via Square, or if the school fundraiser equipped kids with Square as an option as they went door to door.

It used to be that “cash is king”, but it seems that we are swiftly moving to an economy where access to credit is the new royalty. Don’t devote your allegiance to the wrong throne.

beth triplett

1 comment

  1. Clover Food Lab in Boston does the exact opposite. For speed and convenience they only accept cards! No cash at all. At both the food truck and brick and mortar venues orders are taken in handheld devices and cards are quickly swiped. Perhaps they need to be called “card”iers as cash isn't accepted!

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