Visa offers restaurants $10,000 to stop taking cash

When it comes to spending your money, cash is king because everyone takes it.

Now, Visa is offering up to 50 restaurants, cafes and food trucks $10,000 each to stop taking it.

"Short-term, it's appealing, but long-term, I still think you alienate a customer base that you don't want to mess with," said Breakfast Republic owner Johan Engman, who added about 20 percent of his customers pay cash.

Engman said cash does come with risks, such as human error in counting, and it can't be replaced if it's lost or stolen. He prefers credit cards because they are more secure, even though they come with transaction fees.

For Visa's Cashless Challenge, a spokesman for the company said in a statement it's an effort to encourage local businesses to embrace innovation.

"With this program, we want to educate merchants on the benefits and effectiveness of going cashless," the statement said. "Going cashless helps businesses speed up their lines, eliminates the cost of handling cash and reduces risk."

Karen Layug, who lives in Mission Valley, said she doesn't understand why there has to be one or the other.

"For them not to support it, I think that's unreasonable," she said. "I'm sorry to say, but cash is cash. It's money."

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