Finance expert Martin Lewis explains exactly when stores are forced to accept cash – and when they can say “no”.
Speaking on ITV’s Martin Lewis Money Show, he was responding to a question from a viewer who asked: “If cash is a legal tender, are traders just breaking the rules by accepting cards?”
And, for once, the answer was simple.
“No, they’re not breaking any rules,” Martin said.
“You will only be allowed to take the card unless it is discriminatory for race or disability or anything.”
But it came up with what is legally tender.
“The legal tender thing is interesting,” Martin said.
“There is a strict definition of legal tender.
“It means if the court has a debt of dignity against you, if someone tries to settle and if they have paid the legal tender, you can’t deny it.
“And that’s what it means.”
He noted that in some parts of the country, the only thing legal tender is actually currency.
“There are no notes in Scotland – neither the Bank of Scotland nor the Bank of England is a legal tender.”
However, this does not mean that they are not legal.
“They are all legal currency,” he added.
Martin made a great statement about whether it was time to move to a cashless society.
“I know a lot of people are saying ‘why don’t we just switch to a cashless society?’ – I don’t want that, because there are a lot of weak people who need cash, “he said.
And there was good news for those who relied on cash, but the closure of bank branches and the removal of ATMs have become more difficult.
“The government has said that the rules will change if we leave the EU in January, so you don’t have to buy anything if you want to cash in on the supermarket,” he said.
“And ATMs and bank branches will be closed which will be effective.”