Paying with cash? We charge extra for that!

 June 17, 2024

This story was originally published by the WND News Center.

In days gone by, American consumers used to, occasionally, get a discount for paying cash for a product or service.

The sellers had the revenue immediately. There was no lag time at a credit card company, or bank. And retailers found that helpful.

Now it's just the opposite.

Houston Herald report tells how Noa Khamallah wanted to buy popcorn and a soda at Yankee Stadium and was directed to an ATM, where he deposited $200 in cash, and got back a debit card –with a balance of $196.50.

In the report, he said paying for anything in New York is expensive, but, "If you add on top of that extra fees for being able to pay for food, that’s not right."

The Herald explained, "Reverse ATMs like those at Yankee Stadium are now common at cashless venues and restaurants across the country as a way to cater to those who prefer paying in cash. People who want to pay their parking tickets, tolls, taxes or phone bills in cash, meanwhile, often learn that government agencies and businesses have outsourced that option to companies that usually charge a fee."

Cash, the report noted, still remains the third-most popular way to paying, adding up to 16% of all payments in 2023, the Federal Reserve confirmed.

Jonathan Alexander, of the Consumer Choice in Payment Coalition, said, "It’s unbelievable that we actually have to tell retailers, 'This is U.S. currency and it’s something that should be accepted.'"

No laws demand businesses take cash, although a few states and cities have banned what they called "cashless" establishments.

Congress is working on a requirement that businesses take cash for in-person purchases up to $500 but it hasn't passed.

Especially hurt by the cashless ideology are older or lower-income consumers who are less likely to have the digital payment systems set up for their personal buying.

The report added, "Prudence Weaver said she would prefer her son be able to use cash on trips to the zoo, amusement parks and baseball games, rather than have to pay fees for debit cards."

She said, "To let my 13-year-old go buy a slushy at the amusement park, I’m already out $6. I understand that there is a place for electronic payment, but I don’t think it should be the only option."

Some consumers prefer cash because their products don't end up getting listed in a computer under their name somewhere.

The issue even has added to the American economy, in its way, with business opportunities for companies to facilitate cash payments for those who want to do that.

For example, PayNearMe "charges its clients a fee ranging from $1.99 to $3.99 on each cash transaction," the report said.

report at ZeroHedge explained, "The debate rages on whether this shift truly serves the public or merely lines the pockets of corporate giants. At stadiums, amusement parks, and beyond, the cost of going cashless continues to climb - and it's everyday consumers who are footing the bill."

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