As businesses, consumers and communities continue to struggle with the second wave of the pandemic, the Canadian Association of Secured Transportation (CAST) urges retailers to accept cash as a form of payment.
“Early in the pandemic, many businesses started refusing cash for fear of COVID-19 transmission. But by the spring, the evidence was clear that cash poses no greater risk than bank cards. Unfortunately, and despite this, some retailers persist in discouraging cash as a payment method or refuse it outright,” stated Steven Meitin, President of the Canadian Association of Secured Transportation.
Mr. Meitin added, “Bank notes are legal tender in Canada, and many citizens rely on cash to obtain essential goods and services, which has become more important than ever in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic and its ongoing social and economic repercussions. No consumer should be refused the right to pay with cash. Unfortunately, in Canada, there is no law or regulation that protects this right, and that needs to change.”
“Cash is inclusive and universally accessible. To deprive Canadians of this payment option is to penalize a large segment of the population, including some of the most vulnerable people in our society who may be unbanked or underbanked, who prefer the security of cash or who rely on cash for income. Let’s ensure that those among us who rely on cash to purchase goods in these difficult times – no matter the reason – aren’t unduly punished and that they have access to the goods they need this holiday season,” Mr. Meitin concluded.
The importance for retailers to accept cash was reiterated by the Bank of Canada on a number of occasions since the beginning of the pandemic. It stated that it “strongly advocates that retailers continue to accept cash to ensure Canadians have access to the goods and services they need. Refusing cash purchases outright will put an undue burden on those who depend on cash and have limited payment options.” Their full statement is available here.
For more information regarding the low risks related to COVID-19 transmission in the handling of cash, you cam consult press releases published May 6, 2020 and July 8, 2020.