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Is it ridiculous in this modern age to be a business that only takes cash?

147 replies

PingpongDingDong · 03/09/2015 13:49

We sometimes visit a cafe in our city that takes cash only. While you're sitting there you see people realising this and one of them having to take a hike to tie closest cashpoint to pay. While we were in holiday we visited a couple of places like this and it made me wonder why they do this. Are bank charges so high? It seems archaic to me.

OP posts:

neepsandtatties · 03/09/2015 13:52

I don't think it is ridiculous, but I think they should make it clear (i.e. a sign on the door before you enter saying that they only take cash, and the nearest cash machine can be found at....) as it's really annoying to only be told that when you come to pay.


BreakingDad77 · 03/09/2015 13:53

Yes as it stinks of tax evasion and makes it easy to lose money in the system.

There are all kinds of POS systems out there from simple apps using a tablet or phone to card readers. Card readers are so much more competitive now, you can even get paypal ones etc.


londonrach · 03/09/2015 13:57

Why? I take only cheques or cash as i home visit and 99.9% of my elderly patients dont have a computer let alone wifi. Its just not worth paying for a card machine. However i clearly tell my patients on my website and if they phone or email me. Tbh i think its gone too far with the contactless and have just moved banks (after 25 years) as a result.


vaticancameos · 03/09/2015 13:59

Tax evasion? How hysterical. My business only takes a few pounds per customer. I do have one of those machines that run through my iPhone. Which is fine unless I have a staff member covering in an emergency. Then I can't take card payment because my iPhone is on me. But of course it's because of tax evasion.


PingpongDingDong · 03/09/2015 13:59

Yes I did wonder about the money going missing thing. I just think in this day and age it's an inconvenience to your customer that is unecessary but wondered if the bank charges were outrageous.

OP posts:

londonrach · 03/09/2015 14:00

Breakingdad..i can ensure you its not about avoiding tax but reducing an already close margin to give some profit. I just keep very good records. In fact being paid by cheque gives you a paper trail anyway. Spent two hours yesterday doing my receipts ready for my tax return.


PingpongDingDong · 03/09/2015 14:01

But a cafe in a city is different to someone who comes to do your hair or similar in your house isn't it?

OP posts:

vaticancameos · 03/09/2015 14:03

Ultimately if the customer isn't happy they are free to take their custom elsewhere. I don't force them in and make them give me cash or else.


PingpongDingDong · 03/09/2015 14:11

That's true Vatican, it's up to them I guess. Just seems a bit of a pain in a context where the vast majority of people would expect them to have some sort of card facility.

OP posts:

TalkinPeace · 03/09/2015 14:16

Card fees are between 3 and 5% of the value of each transaction, with a minimum
plus the cost of renting the machine which is around £30 a month
plus the cost of a dedicated business phone line or reliable broadband

for a cafe with a turnover based on multiple small transactions possibly on a seasonal basis, it may not be worth it.


LurkingHusband · 03/09/2015 14:17


Yes as it stinks of tax evasion

Oh do fuck off.


Madbengalmum · 03/09/2015 14:19

Some people have mobile businesses and deal with the elderly who deal in cash, not everybody is dodgy OP!


ChilliAndMint · 03/09/2015 14:28

I think it is reasonable to charge for transactions of say less than £10, but I think it is in the businesses best interest to have a card facility if it is in a busy town. A business can lose a lot of potential sales by not moving with the times.


BreakingDad77 · 03/09/2015 14:30

We lose £40 billion every year due to tax evasion which is socially acceptable (lurkinghusband) and yet the biggest priority is chasing scroungers go figure. Just how that £40 billion sits in perspective of our gov.

LondonRach that wasn't aimed at you, you obviously have a specialist service, with specialist customers.

We are talking about a cafe in a city as per the op.


wonkylegs · 03/09/2015 14:35

Our community restaurant only takes cash because until we knew whether or not it was going to be a success the community association couldn't commit to the costs of a years contract for broadband + all the other costs for taking card payments. We are upfront about it on all advertising and there is a cash machine up the road so far it's not been a problem.


m0therofdragons · 03/09/2015 14:37

Can I suggest you stay away from the west country Wink


Stickerrocks · 03/09/2015 14:37

A bank will charge 60p to pay in each cheque & a % of cash banked. Debit & credit card charges are on top of these. If you are already running on tight margins, these costs may just be one hit too much. Not every small business owner does it the evade tax, especially as they are likely to have to pay so little anyway.


TalkinPeace · 03/09/2015 14:40

We lose £40 billion every year due to tax evasion which is socially acceptable

Not many cafes turn over enough to owe that much tax, let alone evade it.

Vodafone dodged £6bn in tax alone (as per their own published accounts)

its the big boys who cost the money dear
the UK has one of the smallest "black economy" sectors in the OECD


londonrach · 03/09/2015 14:41 true. Grow up there. Someone tried to Pay me in veg and eggs Grin. Imagine that on my tax return....


OnlyHereForTheCamping · 03/09/2015 14:46

I use izettle which is a super cheap method of taking card payments on your phone and worth looking into if you are small business


WorktoLive · 03/09/2015 14:47

Many small cafes won't need to bank their most of their cash because they will spend it in the cash and carry buying supplies for their business.
They may even pay some of their employees in cash, with legitimate wage slips, deductions etc.

I would never assume that a small cafe or pub accepts cards and always carry cash to pay. If it's a small transaction, it's likely that the bank charges will eat up some or all of their profit.

Bank charges and machine rental cost a fortune for small busineses and few members of the public don't appreciate how much they add up. It's like eBay - many buyers have no idea how much sellers have to pay ebay for using the site.


vaticancameos · 03/09/2015 14:51

I'm the West Country. Perhaps that's why I have a lax attitude to card machines Wink


londonrach · 03/09/2015 14:52 day ill get one of those smart phone (not sure of any benefit) but at the moment im happy with my phone. It texts and phones that all. No internet access n anyway. (On ipad at mo) As for the cafe i suspect it cant get credit hence why its cash only. It is very common in the west country where i grow up. Signs always on the door.


LurkingHusband · 03/09/2015 14:52


I didn't tell you to fuck off because I don't believe that tax evasion is a problem, or because I don't believe tax evaders should be punished - I do.

I told you to fuck off because of your blanket assertion that anyone dealing in cash is a tax evader. The same way I told very snooty local radio presenter to fuck off, when she started commenting that all the hand car washes near her were run by "Europeans who only take cash" and "who knows if they pay their tax ?". Luckily for her, I was in the car, so swearing at fresh air. Unluckily for her, quite a few listeners agreed with me, and called her out on a borderline racist stereotype.

We've trod this path before. There are many legitimate reasons for businesses to deal solely in cash. Oh, and on the previous thread, no on explained how a business which issued valid invoices could be evading tax by getting paid in cash.


BreakingDad77 · 03/09/2015 14:55

Well last time I check op was about a cafe in a city not a rural place where you would be hard pressed to find a cash point to begin with, and of course expect to have cash on you dears.

As camping has posted there are cheaper systems out there with a little research needed i.e not just going to your bank.

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