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Visa Trying To Get Businesses To Refuse Cash

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Credit card giant Visa Inc. (V) is launching a major effort to encourage business to go cashless, saying that it aims to create a culture where cash is no longer king.

As part of the effort, Visa announced "The Visa Cashless Challenge," with a call to action for small business restaurants, cafés or food truck owners to describe what cashless means for them, their employees and customers.

Visa, the world's largest credit and debit card company, will award up to $500,000 to 50 eligible U.S.-based small business food service owners who agree to stop taking cash and upgrade their technology to electronic payments.

"With 70% of the world, or more than 5 billion people, connected via mobile device by 2020, we have an incredible opportunity to educate merchants and consumers alike on the effectiveness of going cashless," Jack Forestell, head of global merchant solutions of Visa said.

Visa said it recently conducted a study which found that if businesses in 100 cities transitioned from cash to digital, their cities stand to experience net benefits of $312 billion per year.

The company will include the complete results with the benefits of going cashless for businesses in the "Cashless Cities: Realizing the Benefits of Digital Payments" report to be released later this year.

Visa will also tap into its sponsorship as the official payment partner of Formula E to offer cashless, digital payment acceptance at the first-ever Formula E race in Brooklyn, the New York City ePrix.

Visa noted that local restaurants in New York City, including 2nd City, Fish Cheeks, and Mulberry and Vine will offer their customers cashless experiences during the race weekend.

While releasing the preliminary findings from the 2015 Diary of Consumer Payment Choice, the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco noted in November 2016 that cash continues to be the most frequently used consumer payment instrument and dominates small-value transactions.

In 2015, nearly one-third or 32 percent of consumer transactions were made with cash, compared with 40 percent in 2012. Despite innovations in smartphone technology and mobile payment apps, Fed data on the amount of currency in circulation suggested that demand for cash is strong.

by RTT Staff Writer

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