Cash vs Credit — Is there a war on cash? (Opinion)
I'm a credit guy. I carry around my driver's license, press ID and two credit cards. That's it. I rarely have cash and can't imagine why every vending machine, store and parking meter don't all take credit cards. Yes, there are many people who prefer cash. Despite E-ZPass and location tracking on their cell phones, some still like the thought of being slightly off-the-grid. For me, I'm happy people know where I am when I'm out. At home, no Alexa though, there is a value to privacy.
Back to cash vs. credit.
Assemblyman Paul Moriarty wants to make sure that you always have the option. He joined me on Chasing News Tuesday night and actually said that there is a "war on cash". He may be right, but so what? Credit cards are efficient, no counting of change and you always have enough money (within reason). If you lose it, you call and replace it. Try calling the bank and asking for replacement twenties that you dropped at the bar last week.
On a serious note, major credit card companies are now offering financial incentives for businesses to stop accepting cash and forcing paying customers to use credit only. Moriarty sees this as greedy big business pushing out customers who don't have credit. However, is the state going to make up for what the business would lose if the law passes? How much money would a small business leave on the table having to turn down a generous offer from a credit card company because it would be illegal not to accept cash. What about the added burden of staff and accounting to accept cash when all you need is an iPhone and an adapter to accept credit?
It's a well-intentioned law from a stand up legislator aiming to protect cash customers. It's also a last ditch effort to hold onto a way of transacting business that is fast becoming antiquated. Time to embrace electronic payment and allow for NJ small businesses to make a choice about how they want to accept payment. The government should be out of the protection business when it comes to how people pay for goods.
Bill Spadea is on the air weekdays from 6 to 10 a.m., talkin’ Jersey, taking your calls at 1-800-283-1015. Tweet him @NJ1015 or @BillSpadea. The opinions expressed here are solely those of Bill Spadea.
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