Stop punishing your customers who pay you with Cash

The American Civil Liberties Union, or ACLU, has been defending individual rights and freedoms guaranteed by the Constitution, as well as by the laws of the United States of America for close to 100 years. Most recently, the ACLU turned its focus credit cards.

Consistent with the ACLU’s campaign to install privacy protections in the digital age, the civil liberties nonprofit addresses the anonymity of cash, but they also recognize the impact a cashless society would have on low-income, homeless, and undocumented people. In addition, the ACLU points out that a cashless trend negatively impacts small merchants who avoid credit card processing fees by doing a cash-only business or who offer cash discounts. Not to mention, the ACLU points out that cash always works while technology often lets us down, from technology failures to privacy and security breaches.

Cash prevents anyone from knowing anything about your purchases. With the convenience of credit cards comes the potential of the credit card company not only obtaining but leveraging data about you and your purchase.

Both low-income populations and large percentages of people of color are not “fully banked,” meaning they do not have a checking or savings account, barring them from the cashless society. Specifically, the ACLU points out, 6.5% of U.S. households have no checking or savings account while only 52% of Black people and 63% of Latino people have bank accounts. Plus, more than 18% of U.S. households have a bank account but still need to check cashing and payday loans.

Businesses can avoid backlash while simultaneously embracing cash-paying customers by adopting cash discount merchant services. With this model, merchants can offset service fees while avoiding an increase in prices by enrolling in a cash discount program. Unlike surcharging, which charges customers an extra fee for paying with a credit card, businesses can instead add a service fee to all customers while applying a discount equivalent to this service fee when customers pay by cash or check. This platform incentivizes the use of cash.

Service-based industries, including auto shops, landscapers, and electricians are well-suited for the service fee.

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