Fletcher in the News

Cash-Only Business Owners Risk $100 Billion Mistake: Dean Chakravorti Comments

Bhaskar Chakravorti is a Senior Associate Dean at The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, Tufts University.

As American consumers begin to embrace tap-and-pay smartphone apps, relegating plastic to a deep recess in the pocketbook or wallet, more than half of U.S. small business owners continue to live in the past—forget mobile apps, they don't take American Express, or anything other than cash.

For nearly 10 years Joe Coffee, a small chain of artisan coffee shops in New York City, accepted only cash. Not only was it a more profitable scheme—Joe's average sale was $2.75 and credit card processing would eat up about 3 percent of each transaction plus add a laundry list of fees—but being cash-only was part of the company's ethos…

…"As everyone becomes a lot more familiar with doing things on their phones, if the next store over offering the same set of products accepts electronic payments, then you'll be losing business," said Bhaskar Chakravorti, senior associate dean for international business and finance at Tufts' Fletcher School and co-author of a recent study, "The Cost of Cash in the United States."

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