PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Some consumers are making customers choice of paying with cash or credit easier by going cashless, but not everyone is on board with the idea.
From chain coffee shops to small seasonal mom and pop stores, more businesses in Philadelphia are ditching cash and only taking plastic.
“We started going cashless this summer,” said Andre Andrews.
Andrews owns Dre’s Homemade Water Ice and Ice Cream in North Philly.
He realized last year the business was actually losing money by accepting cash.
“Imagine if you are at a festival for a day, there is an 8 hour event and you paid $1,200-$1,250 to vend at that location, it’s all about volume,” said Andrews.
Serving a customer some of Dre’s Water Ice, who’s paying with credit takes 27-32 seconds.
A costumer paying with cash takes about one minute.
Double the time essentially cutting his profit in half.
Being cashless also added benefits.
“If you are in a high crime area you have less cash in your establishment so that keeps theft down from outside sources if not your employees,” said Andrews. “It is easier to reconcile the books. So I don’t have to go to the bank every day or every morning to drop every night.”
The convenience to even some customers may not be worth the classist implications though, according to Philadelphia City Councilman Bill Greenlee.
“It seems unfair to me that if I go in to get a cup of coffee and if I have a credit card I can get it. The person behind me had the same amount in cash, is turned away,” said Councilman Greenlee. “It’s classist in a certain way and I think really discriminated against poor people.”
Councilman Greenlee has just proposed a bill to ban businesses, like Dre’s Water Ice, from refusing cash.
“There was a study that seven percent of Americans are bank-less, they don’t have debt cards or credit cards. I gotta think in Philadelphia unfortunately as we have been called the poorest big city, that that number is probably higher,” added Councilman Greenlee.
Cashless businesses are a growing trend not just here in Philadelphia but almost every other major city.
Another trend is this idea to ban them.
Similar bans have been proposed in New Jersey and Chicago.