Yes, we accept cards
In certain sectors in the San Francisco Bay Area, cash is still king. Many nightlife and food venues don’t accept cards and It’s not uncommon at these establishments to see customers hand over credit cards only to have employees frown at them and state, “We’re cash only.” It used to be a common sight at dive bars and small neighborhood corner stores, but now people can find the same thing happening at high-end lounges serving $14 cocktails.
I am an artist and sculptor in San Francisco. I sell artwork in person at events and fairs, as well as from my studio space. I also have customers online. For my business, I am happy to accept electronic payment cards. They help make my business work.
Although many customers can’t pay with cash or personal checks, they all have credit, debit or other payment cards that make transactions smooth and easy. When I explain how Square, the portable electronic payment card device, works and offer to swipe their cards, hesitant customers turn to eager purchasers. I’ve seen this occur with tourists and locals, first timers and walk-ins, and repeat customers. I am not willing to potentially alienate or turn away customers because they don’t have enough funds.
Electronic payment cards promote safety and security for my business. As the owner and operator of a small studio, I work alone. If I kept a lot of cash in the studio, I would need to take additional security measures to protect it. Electronic payments are secure and reduce the likeliness of petty theft or robbery. Additionally, business owners that still accept personal checks all know that moment of anxiety merchants get when they deposit checks from new customers in the bank. With payment cards, there is no chance merchants won’t get their money.
Finally, payment cards enable me to sell to the world outside of San Francisco. My Etsy.com page means that anyone in the world can appreciate my work and, if they choose, purchase something online. My parents’ generation used personal checks and cash to cover regular expenses. Now, consumers spend their money via payment cards in the store and online. From online purchases and online bill payments, to trusty card swipe in-stores, customers are far less likely to use cash. For me and my business, I am happy to accept electronic payment cards.