Slate asks why more businesses are refusing Cash -- and investigates the downside. An anonymous reader quotes their report: Stores are eliminating cash registers and coin rolls in pursuit of what they say is a safer, more streamlined payment process -- and one that most of their customers want to use anyway. At Dos Toros, co-founder Leo Kremer said that more than half of the shop's customers used cash when its first location opened in Manhattan in 2009. By the beginning of this year, that number had fallen to just 15 percent. At that point, the various hassles of dealing with cash -- employee training, banking fees, armored-truck pickups, and the occasional robbery -- outweighed the cost of credit card fees on those transactions. The shift wound up being more or less revenue-neutral, Kremer said, but saved a lot of time and trouble. Dos Toros' New York locations have been fully cash-free since the winter.... "After talking to the team and absorbing the flow at the register, we felt like almost everyone who used cash had a card. It just hasn't been an issue...." But it would be hard to find anyone more gung-ho about the abolition of cash than credit card companies. Last summer, for example, Visa announced a $10,000 reward to 50 businesses that would give up cash entirely. "What concerns me about a cashless future is how much it benefits Wall Street," Stacy Mitchell, co-director of the Institute for Local Self-Reliance, wrote to me in an email. "They can charge swipe fees of two to three percent not because that's what the service actually costs, but because they have monopoly power." Citing services like Square and Apple Pay, the article notes that 4 in 10 purchases used to involve cash, but between 2011 and 2016 it dropped to just 3 in 10 purchases (according to the San Francisco Fed). Yet the article's author also presents this counter-argument. "In Shanghai, the venture capitalist Eric Li told me a story about trying to get his morning coffee the morning after a storm had knocked out the internet on his block. "No one could buy coffee, because no one was carrying cash."
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