GREENSBORO, N.C. — The coin shortage means retailers from big box stores like Walmart to convenience store chains like 7-Eleven are asking you to not use cash but instead use your card.
None of these stores banned cash, but a lot of people got upset with the ask including a Mississippi Senator. Check out the Facebook page of Senator Chad McMahan.
“Business owners if you refused to take cash, the debt is paid in full.
If you are a business owner and you refuse to take cash, you are breaking the law.”
He gave an example.
“If you purchase $44 of fuel and I try to pay with a $100 bill and you refuse the payment of cash, the debt is paid in full.”
This Facebook post has been shared at last count, 66,000 times. Is what the Senator posted true? The short answer is no, but let's explain.
The Federal Reserve, on a FAQ page, states:
There is no federal statute mandating that a private business or person or an organization must accept currency or coins as payment. Private businesses are free to develop their one polices on whether to accept cash unless there is a state law which says otherwise.
Right now, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and New Jersey prohibit retailers from refusing cash. New York is supposed to follow this fall.
North Carolina doesn't have any ban on any kind of payment, and NC Attorney General Josh Stein says businesses don't have to put a sign up telling you what they take, but they should.
“It's clearly the right thing to do. If a retailer isn't going to accept cash, which is a commonly understood way of making payment, they should let their customers know. That's useful information so the customer can decide if they want to do business with that retailer or not.”
According to reports from a CBS station in Mississippi, the senator wants to push Mississippi to adopt a ban on a refusal to accept cash.