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Cash vs Credit Card...

To follow, in a sort of way, from lasts months blog, I was inspired by another post I have seen doing the rounds on social media.

Remember in lockdown when you had those notes in your purse that where nearly moth eaten because you never managed to spend them? Well, even though we are back out again, it seems the habit of paying by credit card has stuck. Whilst many places are now cashless, many small businesses are happy to accept both.

Whilst you are being fabulous and supporting small businesses, if they accept cash, you will be helping them by paying in cash. Why? Pesky bank charges.

It is something that we all forget about. It is so easy to just reach for our cards, or more often are phones or watches, tap and run. I am guilty of this too. But each transaction has a charge associated with it. The charges vary depending on terminal providers, and credit card providers, but there is always a charge.

Below is a little post I found online that demonstrates what happens to our “money” when we pay by card:

“Why should we pay cash everywhere with banknotes instead of a card?

I have a £50 banknote in my pocket. Going to a restaurant and paying for dinner with it.

The restaurant owner then uses the note to pay for the laundry.

The laundry owner then uses the note to pay the barber.

The barber will then use the note to pay for shopping.

After an unlimited number of payments, the note remains £50 in value, which has fulfilled its purpose to everyone who used it for payment and the bank has jumped dry from every cash payment transaction made.


IF I go to a restaurant and pay digitally via Card, the bank fees for my payment transaction charged to the seller are, say, 3%, so around £1.50

And so, let’s say the fee will be £1.50 for each further payment transaction;

for the owner of the restaurant to pay for laundry, the laundry owner to pay the barber, the barber to pay for shopping and so on....

After 30 transactions, the initial £50 will exist at only £5, and the remaining £45 has become the property of the bank … thanks to all the digital transactions and fees!”

We have a little sign by our coffee machine to pay by cash where possible for this reason. In one year alone, our card charges doubled to approximately £15,000. This year they will be even more. If you pay by card the business owner is not getting 100% of your support.

I am not suggesting carrying a wallet of cash around, but perhaps carrying a note or two and paying for your small purchases in cash. I know many businesses would appreciate it.


Yes, we need to keep cash if we wish to keep our freedom. CBDCs will usher in a Chinese style social credit system – we shall all become enslaved. Cash is King 👍🏻

Like a breath of fresh air to read !

Cash is also privacy !!

anything to stop banks using our money to pay staff to shut down people’s accounts

I noticed one comment saying about paying by bank transfer – if it should help you I’d gladly do that when I order my next lot of coffee. Anything to stop the bank getting their hands on my money.
Keep writing, I love reading your blog.

Cash from me from now on!

Excellent point – the main winners these days are the banks. I always have cash on me but seldom use it. I will start using it more to help small businesses and annoy the banks!

Excellent and very important post. Important for all small businesses and important for the future of freedom.

Good illustration of how those processes work and reinforcement of what we all know about the banks and others.
Yes, we can all do our bit if we value our independent retailers.
Here’s to you all at THE Coffee Stores’!

Hello Marisa, A very interesting post. A a regular customer over a number of years, I’ve just begun a regular subscription for Assam Bukhaial.

My question is: would it assist further with costs if purchasers and subscribers could elect to pay by Bank transfer instead?

Best wishes to everyone at the store in this very hot weather!

Leicester, UK

We pay 0.29% for debit cards which are the majority of our card payments. Barclays charge nearly 1% for paying cash in to the bank. Most of our bills are paid by bacs as utility companies, landlords etc don’t want to be paid in cash. Sadly therefore I am not sure that the argument holds. There is a monthly pdq rental but that is a small amount against the number of transactions and needs to be paid irrespective of the amount of payments processed.

Very interesting blog about card vs cash, however I live in a rural area and businesses prefer card because of the lack of banks to pay cash into your account and again a charge is made by the bank to pay cash in.
So many businesses except the hassle free model of card only.
Nonetheless I love the blogs, please keep them coming.

Fascinating reminder of why cash is important! Thanks for posting!

My Masters in Economic Science reminds me that the bank charges accumulate and then can be used to give loans to new or exisiting business, thereby expanding the economy and providing more employment (not that more job vacancies are needed just now). But I do take your point about how much money leaks from business in card charges and when I next buy your lovely coffees willmake sure I have some bank notes to pay. In case people do not know it, there are many ATMs nearby at Barclays Soho Square so there is never a queue to make a withdrawal.

Also along with the accepted credit/charge cards there should be a £Cash also accepted logo!

Quite right. Definitely cash henceforth. It has served us well for millennia. Thank you for reminding us of the small but important steps we can take to help.

Very well explained – cash vs cards and the charges a business incurs. A small business in Notting Hill Gate – now alas gone – that dealt in coins and banknotes – had a notice in their window explaining the bank charges – and why they only take cash. Point made.

That’s a great post, and a timely reminder. Thank you.
I have stopped using supermarkets and shops with “no cash – card only”. And next time I send you my order, I shall come into town to pay with cash when I pick it up!
We are being pushed into a digital society as if we have no choice. If we don’t resist by supporting independent traders we will all lose our financial freedom and our small local businesses.

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