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Businesses adopt cash-free model during pandemic

Posted at 4:50 PM, Oct 01, 2020

KANSAS CITY, Mo. - The old saying that 'cash is king' isn't always true in the time of COVID. Many businesses have gone cash-free, asking customers to pay with cards instead.

It's one of the changes Crow's Coffee implemented as a result of the pandemic.

"Even pre-COVID, cash was already a dirty thing," Zach Moore, the owner, said.

By accepting online orders and cards only, Moore hoped to limit contact between customers and staff.

Most, but not all, customers had no problem with the decision.

"There have been a few people that want to use cash and can't, and they tell us it's illegal for us to not take cash," Moore said.

However, according to the Federal Reserve, it is in fact legal.

"Private businesses are free to develop their own policies on whether to accept cash unless there is a state law that says otherwise," says the agency's website.

Some states and cities, including New Jersey, Philadelphia, and San Francisco, have instituted bans on cashless businesses. Proponents for the bans argue not everyone has access to a debit or credit card.

However, no such legislation has passed in the metro area.

Screenland Armour in North Kansas City is another local business encouraging online orders and avoiding cash right now.

The changes are speeding up the ticket line.

"As fast as you can come inside and get to your seat, that's better for all of us because we have fewer people in common areas," Adam Roberts, Screenland Armour Co-Owner and Operator said.

Crow's Coffee will soon reopen the common area at its South Plaza location, and the business will also begin accepting cash.

Finances played into the decision since there's a fee for every swipe.

"We do want to start taking cash again a little bit just because it does save us a lot of money," Moore said, "That being said, we are definitely encouraging people to continue to use a card just to keep our staff and the customers safe."

This story was first reported by Cat Reid at KSHB in Kansas City, Missouri.