SALT LAKE CITY — Where have all the coins gone? Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, people are staying at home and not spending their change. Registers at businesses have closed. Pennies, nickels, dimes and quarters are not circulating like they used to. Businesses are asking customers to give exact change or pay with debit or credit cards. And consumers are opting for payment without contact to avoid coronavirus contamination.
Is it time for America to go cashless?
“I like paying with a card,” Dave said. “I’m done with cash.”
Debbie said when she rolls through the drive-up at McDonalds and orders her Diet Coke for $1.08, she hands over a dollar and a dime and says, “Keep the change.”
Dave pointed out that it cost 1.5 cents to make one penny, according to his tour of the US Mint in Denver.
Are you Team Card or Team Cash?
Caller Debbie said she sells crafts at a farmers market “and we need cash at places like that.” She said people at the market come up to her to ask if she still accepts cash.
“I am grateful that I can still give them their change,” she said.
Dave said Venmo has been a big game-changer for him.
Venmo is a type of peer-to-peer payment platform. It’s a mobile app that enables sending money easily among friends. No credit card, no wallet, no fees and no nagging for unpaid drinks required. Just link the app to a debit card and spend away, according to MarketWatch.
“I guarantee I’m going to keep my cash because I use it,” said caller Debbie.
Dave said he is a coin hoarder who stuffs his change into paper rolls and takes them to his bank.
Debbie said she wants to round sales tax on purchases to the nearest dollar.
“If it’s a little over, we just pay a little less,” she said. “It just all works out in the wash.”
“I love the idea if they ever rounded down,” Dave replied. “But what business has ever rounded down?”
“As usual taxes ruin everything,” Debbie said.
Caller April said she uses cash, debit and credit cards, and Venmo.
“But I’ve also been hacked,” she added, saying her bank account was frozen.
“If we can’t even control voting, how are we going to control our money?” April asked.
Dave said he loses his wallet at least every other year, costing him “hundreds and hundreds” in cash.
“But I don’t lose a penny on my cards because I just call them. I cancel them,” he said. “Unlike April, I feel like my money is much better protected on a card than it ever is in my wallet.”
By doing away with cash and coins, Debbie pointed out that Dave is destroying children’s lemonade stands.
“I actually did this with a lemonade stand,” Dave said. “Super-gross lemonade by the way, but that’s neither here nor there. But they had like their mom’s Venmo account. And I’m like ‘I don’t have any cash, but I have Venmo,’ and I sent them a couple of bucks. It was great. Venmo is the future. Let’s just get rid of cash. Team Card all the way.”