24 September 2023

Digital Technology Guru

Digital Technology Guru Reviews

Is It Legal for Businesses to Deny Cash Payments?

2 min read
Is It Legal for Businesses to Deny Cash Payments?

The concept of a cashless society has become a concern for many, particularly with the growing popularity of digital transactions and the possibility of the US Dollar losing its status as the world’s reserve currency. The Biden Administration has been involved in research and development for a US Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC) since March, raising concerns about the potential implementation of a Communist Chinese-styled social credit score and restrictions on purchasing certain items using the digital currency.

While cash usage is declining, with only 10% of Americans always using cash for purchases, businesses have been pushing digital transactions over cash to minimize mistakes and theft. Accepting cash can cost businesses 9% of the amount received due to the additional time and effort it takes to process, count, and deposit the funds, as well as the potential for errors and theft. In contrast, the average cost of digital collection is only 3.6%, mainly comprising processing fees to providers. Additionally, customers tend to spend more when cash is not involved.

From a federal law standpoint, businesses are not required to accept cash. The federal law specifies that US coins and currency are legal tender for all debts, public charges, taxes, and dues, but it does not mandate the form of payment. All digital transactions in the United States are transacted in US Dollars, which is in accordance with federal law. However, states and municipalities have the ability to create their own policies. Currently, only Massachusetts, New Jersey, and Rhode Island have laws mandating businesses accept cash. In Florida, there is no such law, although there was an attempt to establish one during the previous legislative session.

Ultimately, the decision of whether to accept cash or not lies with individual businesses. Advocacy for a cash acceptance policy can be pursued contacting state representatives and senators. It is important to note that while businesses have the right to deny cash payments, consumers also have the right to choose which businesses to patronize based on their preferred payment methods.