Please don’t ban cash payments in shops

I agree with Clive Blackmore (SNJ Letters, June 15), who says card payments should not be compulsory in shops and other organisations.

I understand that, despite the concept of ‘legal tender’ to which he refers, sellers of goods and services are entitled to accept or refuse whatever payment method they want. However, the refusal of some to take cash is a bad move for several reasons.

First and most important, refusing cash is discriminatory against people who don’t have access to cards or even bank accounts – mainly the elderly and people who are financially disadvantaged. Second, not being allowed to pay in cash will deter people (including me) who really don’t want to have to reconcile multiple receipts for tiny amounts against their bank statements.

Encouraging card payments also inevitably encourages carefree and potentially irresponsible spending; there is nothing like having to rely on the cash in your purse to focus the mind on how much money is available to spend.

There is a charity shop in Stroud that I no longer buy from, since my £2 coin was refused as payment for a £2 item, and I no longer buy my Saturday morning coffee from a particular place in the town centre since being told I cannot pay for it in cash.

You might assume it’s fears about germs on coins and notes that are causing this trend. However, some shopkeepers have admitted that it’s actually because bank charges for card processing are lower than those for depositing cash. I wonder how confident they are that this state of affairs will continue? Watch the card processing fees shoot up once the banks have everyone relying on cards!

I applaud outlets – such as Loose – that still actively welcome cash and hope other businesses will question the effect on customer loyalty of turning away perfectly good custom.

Susan Fenton


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