Good Question: No cash accepted at checkout?

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ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WHEC) — Let’s answer a good question about shopping. This is about how payment at self-checkout at the grocery store.

A viewer called us asking: "Why do the self-checkouts at Wegmans not accept cash?”

That is true. They don’t take cash or coin. It’s something we’re seeing more and more of.

My first initial thought was it must be a holdover policy from the pandemic or something related to signs we’ve talked about before at many stores talking about a so-called "coin shortage."

Turns out, it’s neither. Wegmans told me:

"Over recent years, we’ve seen a rapid decline in cash transactions at our checkouts. We know customers are looking to get through the checkout process as quickly as possible, and for most customers, that means paying electronically. As we transition all our self-checkout lanes to cashless, we’ve found it to be more efficient for our employees and our customers."

I also reached out to Tops. A spokesperson told me:

“The coin shortage is really what triggered us to explore the options. Additionally we found that 73% of our customers use cards to make purchases so the combination of both led to us to offering our customers both options to meet their needs.”

Of course, you can still pay with cash at other lanes and at the service desk. Again, no cash signs are posted at a number of business that has pointed to a "coin shortage."

There’s no actual shortage. It’s a circulation issue.

The Federal Reserve says we have enough coins out there right now but business and bank closures during COVID broke up the cycle for how we all spend money.