The future is cashless — especially if Visa has anything to say about it.
The credit card and payments company is urging restaurants to stop accepting cash with its new Visa Cashless Challenge, which comes with a $10,000 prize.
“At Visa, we believe you can be everywhere you want to be, and that it should be easy to pay and be paid in more ways than ever, whether it’s a phone, card, wearable, or other device,” Jack Forestell, Visa’s head of global merchant solutions, said in a statement. “With 70 percent 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.”
Visa will give out up to $500,000 to 50 small business restaurants, cafes, or food trucks who commit to going cashless through Visa’s challenge.
Many vendors have already made the switch to cashless payments only. Sweetgreen and some restaurants under Danny Meyer’s Union Square Hospitality Group in particular don’t accept cash. They do accept credit and debit cards, ApplePay, and other forms of mobile payments.
Digital payments have the potential to revolutionize business throughout the world. In the developing world in particular, where financial systems aren’t as rigidly in place, new technology is catching on faster.
Going fully cashless, though, comes with concerns that low-income people who are more likely to rely on cash are excluded as customers.
In this particular project, Visa is focusing on small business owners in the United States. It sounds like an easy way for small businesses to nab $10,000 — unless your customers pay in cash every day.