Standing in line for a 99 cent bowl of poke, I held a weathered dollar bill. It was the grand opening of RAW MKT, a Hawaiian-Japanese fusion joint, and they were offering the usually $11.99 meal for a buck. When I collected my spicy tuna bowl and presented my limp bill and a dime for tax at the cash register, I was informed that the establishment was card-only. It seemed silly to charge $1.08, but I had no other choice. I rummaged in my purse for my credit card and went off to eat the marinated fish.
Raw Mkt, located in New York’s trendy Greenwich Village neighborhood, is yet another business that eschews cash in favor of credit. “We only accept credit cards because it is the fastest way to process payment,” partner Scott Schubiner said in a statement. Airlines have long accepted only cards for inflight purchases. As more retailers have followed suit, trend pieces have been quick to dub card-only payment the next big thing and to pillory cash as dead.
But rumors of cash’s death have been greatly exaggerated.
According to a November 2016 study by the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, physical currency is still the most frequently used payment method, followed by debit cards, which pull funds directly from a checking account. “Each company has its own business model,” said J. Craig Sherman, the National Retail Federation’s spokesman. “But by and large, cash is king, and retailers prefer cash.” Read more at Bloomberg.com.