Cashless businesses gain foothold, but some consumers fight trend

RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — Technology is transforming our lives on a daily basis, including how we buy things.

As we become more and more reliant on electronic forms of payment, some businesses are no longer interested in accepting certain currency and are going cashless.

Once upon a time, people carried a pocketful of coins to pay for everything from parking meters, to newspaper vendors and everything in between.

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But as things got more expensive, coins became less attractive payment options and people tended to use paper money.

Now, there’s a move to take paper currency out of the payment equation too.

From coffee shops to larger restaurant chains, more and more businesses are banning bills and going cashless.

It’s in line with a general trend among consumers to shun cash.

Nick Woomer-Deters of Raleigh says he doesn’t use much cash.

“I can use a credit card everywhere and it’s not convenient to carry cash,” he said.

His wife Kate also rarely uses cash anymore.

“I don’t carry much cash. I never remember to get it and don’t need it very often, so I don’t carry it very often,” Kate Woomer-Deters said.

In fact, a recent consumer payment survey by Tsys found only 11 percent of people use cash anymore with 75 percent preferring to use credit or debit cards…

Business owners like cashless payments because it increases sales, as the owner of one New York city business found.

“With every cash transaction, the payment process was slowing down significantly,” said Michael Kaplan owner of Two Forks restaurant.

Cashless business owners say it also reduces the risk of robberies and employee theft, but some say it discriminates against people who don’t have credit availability.

“Not everybody has plastic,” says Chicago Alderman Ed Burke. As an example, he says, “19 percent of Latino households are unbanked., which means they can’t get a credit card.”

Burke is behind an effort to ban cashless businesses in Chicago. Massachusetts already has already done so.

But, tech experts tell CBS This Morning, cashless is the wave of the future.

“The genie is out of the bottle,” says Robert Safian who is the editor of Fast Company Magazine. He says cashless is catching on for one simple reason.

“The reason is, it’s easier. It’s easier for retailers. It’s easier for consumers,” Safian said.

And it’s not just cards being used to go cashless. Payment options that just require smartphones like Google Pay and Apple Pay are gaining footholds.

And companies like VISA are actually paying merchants thousands of dollars to install equipment to upgrade their systems to go completely cashless.

In fact, VISA has produced a report that details the steps needed to be taken and the issues needed to be addressed as we move toward a cashless society.

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