More U.S. businesses banning cash

CBS NEWS - MONEYWATCH More businesses around the U.S. are declining to accept cash payments, forcing customers to use credit and debit cards only.

At busy New York City lunch spot Two Forks, owner Michael Kaplan has banned cash to keep the lines moving faster. "With every cash transaction, the payment process was slowing down significantly," he said in an interview with CBS News.

Yet while cash is now barred at the fast-casual restaurant, most customers seem to be embracing the switch.

"I never have cash on me -- I always have my card on me. So for me, it's pretty much easier," said Two Forks customer Alex Yanoff.

From coffee shops to larger restaurant chains, more businesses are now banning bills. Proponents say eliminating hard currency is not only faster, it also reduces the risk of robberies.

But not everyone's buying into it. Opponents argue that refusing to accept legal tender discriminates against people without cards, who may be on low incomes. And in some places, efforts are underway to actually ban businesses from banning cash.

Chicago Alderman Edward Burke is pushing the City Council to make it illegal for businesses to embrace the practice. "It's user-unfriendly," he told CBS in an interview late last year. "It's elitist, and it shouldn't be permitted." The policy is already illegal in Massachusetts.

Dos Toros Taqueria owners Leo and Oliver Kremer said they rarely have to turn away cash-loyal customers.

"It just feels like that's where everything is going. China is there already. India is halfway there. A lot of parts of Europe are mostly cashless," Leo Kremer told CBS News.

To encourage establishments to go cashless, Visa (V) has offered thousands of dollars to small businesses to only take cards. None of the businesses featured in this story say they were given any money to go cashless.