Your response is all fine and good from the perspective of the business (and more specifically from the perspective of the clerks and store managers), but from the consumer's perspective, those same things are not necessarily benefits. I do understand that we are moving toward a cashless society, and I don't think that is necessarily "evil." But I do NOT think that we are there yet, and it will be some time before we reach that point.
I understand that it is the prerogative of the business to choose the how they want to deal with money, but I do think it's naive to believe that everyone can or will want to pay with a credit card.
Here are just a few examples of those whose business GoLite might be losing:
1) Someone who is trying to rebuild their credit and being very conscious of their credit card use by using cash.
2) Someone who doesn't want their every move to be tracked via transactions that are recorded on a computer system. (This category may include people who are "off-the-grid" and who keep their money under their mattresses.)
3) Kids or Teens who are not old enough to have credit cards, but are interested in outdoor activities, or who are shopping for gifts for their parents.
And here is a quoted section for an article by the Wharton School of Business about the Consumers' side of going cashless:
"Convenience is arguably the biggest benefit to consumers when it comes to going cashless. No longer do they need to seek out a bank branch or ATM before going shopping. In fact, mobile payment applications have made it possible to complete a purchase without even having a credit card on hand. And paying with a card or smartphone comes with the convenience of having an electronic record of the transaction.
But consumers often pay the price for such advantages. For one, there is greater temptation to overspend with a credit card since all purchases are "buy now, pay later". Additionally, stealing credit card or debit information is much simpler than taking cash from a person. "Your statement comes through every month, and you must examine it every month because you are always at risk of losing your credit card or someone getting your credit card number," says Jack Guttentag, a Wharton professor emeritus of international banking
Going cashless has other, less immediately apparent financial liabilities. Nearly all pre-paid debit cards, for example, are embedded with activation and monthly maintenance fees. Even if you pay off your credit card every month to avoid finance charges, there is likely to be an annual fee, especially if you are part of a "points" promotion or some other bonus plan. Debit cards come with the danger of overdraft penalties. "Currency is free," notes Jeremy Tobacman, a Wharton professor of business and public policy. "It's a point that is easily forgotten, but it is not a trivial difference. In most forms of electronic transactions, there is some payment for the consumer."
Banks and credit card companies have a vested interest in convincing consumers to convert to going cashless. In 2011, credit card issuers reported $154.9 billion of revenue, according to the credit card advisory firm R.K. Hammer. A separate study from the same firm said that in 2011, fee income surpassed interest income for all issuers of cards (including credit, debit and prepaid cards). Though down from previous years due to new federal regulations, overdraft fees totaled $31.6 billion in 2011, research firm Moeb Services reported.
For banks, less consumer dependence on dollars and coins means greater potential to collect fee income, the likelihood of fewer people visiting bricks and mortar bank branches and a diminished need for staff to handle more intensive cash-based transactions. "For financial institutions, these various payment innovations are a source of profit," Guttentag says. "Cash is the least profitable [source of payment], and it's a lot of hassle."
An added benefit to banks and retail businesses receiving electronic payments is that priceless customer data comes with each transaction. Shevlin suggests that businesses that have a record of all their customers' spending habits could then use it to their advantage. "Knowing how you spend your money helps marketers," he notes."
So the upshot is that your arguments are all from the perspective of the convenience of the business and the staff of that business, and not at all taking into account or acknowledging the hidden costs to the consumer. And having heard or read the same arguments from several people in this forum and from the GoLite clerk yesterday, I'm suspicious that you all are spouting the GoLite party-line, rather than really thinking for yourselves. (As a banking customer myself, I also have to say, that I have never been charged to deposit cash into my personal or business accounts, so perhaps GoLite should also find another bank, if they're being charged for cash deposits!)
All that being said, my initial frustration with my transaction yesterday, was that it seemed as if by pulling out cash, I was looked down upon, given a lecture and made to feel as if I'm not "cool enough" or not an intelligent and environmentally responsible adult, merely because I wanted to keep from putting another charge (for less than $20) on my credit card. And it's offensive as a customer to be told that it would be easier for the clerk not to have to go to the bank at the end of the day, when he would rather go to the bar!
Needless to say, I will not be shopping at GoLite again in the near future (though my individual protest is probably not going to change anything; it is my choice). I can order from Sierra Trading post, go to REI, frequent Jax, sew my own clothing, or shop my closet, etc. etc. etc.