What do people think of shops that only take cash

why do people think some shops only take cash


That is a very taxing question


A few reasons off the top of my head, though most are outdated in 2020, it can be hard for established business where business is going fine enough for them to escape their outdated ways.

  • it used to be most rural areas were poorly connected for card terminals, which is much less an issue in 2020, although the assumption that rural areas are still poorly connected for these to work well is wide spread. I remember quite well from several years back having to sit waiting in the taxi 10 minutes at the end of a journey for the card terminal to connect after continuously cutting out, before the driver would get fed up and pressure me for cash or to go to an ATM.
  • card fees - it does cost the business more money to operate card payments, and they aren’t allowed to pass those fees onto customers anymore. When that was disallowed a number of places stopped accepting card, where they used to for spends over £10 plus a £1 fee for example. There are still a surprising number of towns where people are paid cash in hand, so their customers don’t necessarily want or need to pay with card to make them worthwhile.
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To add to the above…

  • They’re old school and don’t like technology as they believe it causes more problems than it solves
  • They don’t like change
  • They believe it’s too expensive to switch to a payment processor
  • They don’t understand what they need and are overwhelmed by choice so just ignore it
  • They’ve convinced themselves that their customers don’t need it and are happy to pay cash.

Similar to the Change comment - but inertia and status quo is a factor too -

“We’ve always done it this way”, and “our customers have always paid cash”/“there’s not enough card custom to warrant a separate system”.

I think the latter can be true for many - if 80% of the potential customer base is happy paying cash, is the potential to capture the remaining 20% worth the investment in systems.

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But if they only accept cash, how would they know this? Survey?

Are the customers happy to be using cash, or are they just paying in cash because there’s no alternative?

This is an especially important question businesses should be asking themselves during a pandemic.


That is a fair point, and my view is more about what shop keepers themselves may think not what is neccesarily true of the market.

But I think it’s a fair point of view - if they do well enough as a cash based business, hitting targets, etc etc, what is the reason to take card?

I’d more say “shop keepers instinct” than anything else. Local Cafe that primarily serves Cream Teas and Scones to the Elderly - less likely to have a desire for Card. Etc etc.


It’s a lot fewer shops than it was pre-lockdown, because of the health issues with handling cash which have overridden other concerns.

But even pre-lockdown I witnessed shops going bust that were cash only because customers would simply walk down the street to the shop that took card. Yes they had regulars who like cash, but not enough, ultimately.

I guess if you’re in a situation where there’s no competition it can work. Even in our small town though you can’t throw a brick without hitting at least 3 cafes, so anything that puts customers off can be fatal.


Because it’s their decision what payment methods they want to accept.

In the same way, you could ask:

a) Why do some businesses only accept cards?
b) why others only accept debit cards?
c) why some don’t accept Scottish* notes?
d) why some accept vouchers and others don’t
e) why someone only takes one of MasterCard/Visa/Amex and not others etc.

(*An example)

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I don’t that’s the reason they went bust.

Much more likely they were in trouble and saving money by not having to pay fees etc + accepting cash helps with a businesses cashflow

I can totally see why smaller shops are reluctant to take cards, here’s just some of the things that they have to foot the bill for

Credit card merchant fees include:

  1. Credit card transaction charges – Usually between 1% and 3%
  2. Merchant service charges – 0.2% for debit cards and 0.3% for credit cards
  3. Minimum monthly service fees – around £10 (if applicable)
  4. Transaction authorisation fees – 2p per transaction
  5. Card machine price – £50 – £80 on average
  6. Set-up cost – £50 – £100 on average (one-off fee)
  7. PCI compliance fee – £3.50 per month
  8. Chargeback fees – Usually between £10 and £20

Somebody has to cover these costs so its a catch 22 for the shop, do they raise prices by a few pence for everything or swallow the costs and eat into their profits?


Or hope that more people spend there because it’s now easier for them?


Hope doesn’t pay the additional costs being incurred.

Hope does not, but more customers spending more money would. Which can be a side effect to accepting more options of payment.

Unless there’s no alternative, I’ll avoid the cash only places. And given that I keep cash to an absolute minimum, it weakens my spending power when I do have to shop in a cash only store. Whereas otherwise I might have been able to justify going a few £ over that £10 because I have the spare change in my bank.

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i have seen sum shops do it to avoid paying tax

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If you know they’re doing to to avoid paying tax, you should report them for tax avoidance.

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Do they excel at it?


i am not one to grass

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