When Visa Offered Restaurants a Reward For Going Cashless

In 2017, Visa declared war on cash, even going so far as to offer restaurants $10,000 to go completely cash free. Included in the deal was an upgrade to the businesses’ checkout terminals so they could accept contactless payments, like Apple Pay, and an investment in some of their marketing costs. When a customer paid at one of the restaurants, they would only be able to do so with a debit or credit card, or via mobile payment. The program participants were picked from online applications. It was all a part of a trend of moving towards a cashless society. Sweden led the pack, predicting that they would become the world’s first truly cash-free society. In fact, at that time, over half the banks in Sweden didn't keep any cash on hand. As of 2023, Sweden is still not 100% cashless, though they are headed in that direction. Cash currently accounts for about 30% of U.S. retail personal spending, though the U.S. has no plans to go cashless in the near future.