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comment by _refugee_
_refugee_  ·  734 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Do you have cash on you?

Hmm.

So I have an expense card for work, which means I am supposed to use that card and only that card (not cash) 99% of the time, basically whenever at all possible, on transactions that are applicable "business/travel expenses." I've run into cash-only taxis once or twice, but it's my understanding that in D.C. and even less metropolitan areas such as Richmond, VA, Square or other credit card readers are commonly used by cab drivers in order to make using a charge card possible. I was actually told there isn't a single cab in DC without a CC reader (truthiness may vary, but it was an attestation from a resident, so it is what it is).

You might live in an area where that isn't the case, but it strikes me as unusual for taxis not to change with the times, and we do live in a digital era now. Square can even let you send/receive cash for free (although I'm pretty sure you aren't supposed to if you are acting as a taxi driver or etc) and it converts your cell phone into a card reader.

POS card charges on vendors are not insignificant, but they're usually pennies on the dollar. While on small transactions that can actually cause a vendor to lose his profit or even lose a few cents (net negative), it's a) the vendor's problem aka the cost of doing business, and b) kind of how things work - you aren't going to make money on every transaction as a person running a business. Unless you have a real reason to care about the person you're paying (like: want to support small business; personally care about them; etc) I don't think it should be a reason not to use your card - but you may feel differently and that's okay. I just kind of feel that it is an expected, known cost of doing business for any and all vendors that enter the money-playing game.

I also have never seen a minimum card transaction requirement at a bar or club, but again, I'm not sure where you are located. For a long time those minimum requirements weren't legal, anyway. They became legal, kind of, As far as I can tell it's only legal for credit cards, due to those aforementioned limits, but where I live that's 2 rum-and-diets and I live in a cheap drinking area. Sure, it's 5 pabst since they're cheap (not including tip) but I'm really not familiar with the scenarios you're describing.

As for entry fee though, yeah, I think it always has to be cash.

I confess I take out money when I need it for a specific purpose and that's the only time I ever have cash usually.




briandmyers  ·  734 days ago  ·  link  ·  

A lot of small businesses in NZ will require a minimum transaction amount (usually $20) to use a credit card, and quite a few don't accept credit cards at all (but we do have a robust debit card system that has been in place for decades). Taxis here have an additional surcharge (fixed) for any card use. In Australia most taxis charge a percentage fee for card use - 5 or 10 percent, which seems outrageous to me, but it partially pays my salary, so I just grin and pay cash when I'm in Oz.

_refugee_  ·  734 days ago  ·  link  ·  

In Australia, the banking system simply doesn't have checks in any capacity.

(I had a coworker. His name was Brian. He talked a lot, and had once lived in Australia. Every conversation with him was a game of "How long until he mentions Australia?" That aside, the fact that checks simply aren't a part of their banking system at all fascinates me and I think is also rather forward-thinking of them. I hate checks.)

I know in the US, at least it used to be, that gas stations would charge you more per gallon if you used a card.

Thing is though, using cash mandates that a person be at the station to take your cash, which means the employer is paying someone to be there. It's actually much cheaper to make people pay all through machines, aka using credit/debit, in the long run.

briandmyers  ·  734 days ago  ·  link  ·  

    Thing is though, using cash mandates that a person be at the station to take your cash

Not necessarily - there are machines that will take cash. That's the case for a lot of parking-garages here, and also things like car washes. No reason there can't be a cash-accepting machine at a gas station.

briandmyers  ·  734 days ago  ·  link  ·  

I moved here in '98 and I had a checking account for about a year or so before I got rid of it. Checks (cheques) are still around, but most people just don't have personal checks any more. Tax refunds come in a check, if you don't want to give the IRD (our IRS) your bank account details; also, I got a reparation check not long ago from the police; the funds came from the guy who stole my car last year, as part of his sentence.

DWol  ·  734 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Haha yes I suppose this is confusing, I'm not talking about metered taxis but rather minibus taxis which operate more like public transport. They only drive certain routes and you just get on and off wherever along the way. At the moment there are a number of reasons why expecting them to have card machines would be strange but in terms of the future it's certainly possible that this might change.

As for the meter taxis, here there are two options: you can either use the fancier "brand name" guys which are starting to have card readers more often, or the pirate style guys who drive busted 1990 Camry's and take the taxi sign off the roof when the cops are nearby. Needless to say they don't take plastic.

As for POS I was under the impression that certain account/card packages do carry charges for the user. Otherwise I don't know why they would list it as a charge in the brochure? Like you say most people (myself included) don't worry about the cost to the vendor so ja...

Minimum transactions are just a thing here then I suppose, it might again have to do with preventing people from making large numbers of card transactions and racking up fees for the business - perhaps the fees are relatively higher?