January 26, 2019


Tropicana Field is going cashless (Craig Calcaterra, Jan 25, 2019, Hardball Talk)

Daniel Kaplan of SportsBusiness Journal reports that Tropicana Field will be the first major league ballpark to stop accepting cash. Yes, for real. Everything -- beer, hot dogs, nachos, foam fingers and the rest -- must be either (a) purchased with a credit card; or (b) with a Rays gift card which one can obtain for cash.

This is gonna cause a lot more controversy than you might think.

It's still a small handful of places, but a growing number of businesses, often coffee shops or upmarket fast casual restaurants, have adopted cashless policies, refusing to accept paper currency and requiring customers to pay with debit or credit cards. The rationale: thanks to chip and tap and smartphone technology it's become quicker and easier to to simply take cards or electronic payment, reducing customer wait time and the hassle of making change, counting cash drawers down at the end of the day, etc.

The polices have met with backlash, however, because they freeze out people who don't have access to bank accounts and/or credit or debit cards, such as low-income and people of color, who are far more typically unbanked of underbanked than others. You can read up on what that means here, but the upshot is that, according to the FDIC, 6.5 percent of households in the United States do not have any affiliation with a bank whatsoever. 

Cards will be a part of establishing universal saving accounts.

Posted by at January 26, 2019 9:01 AM