Bell Aliant, a subsidiary of Bell Canada serving Atlantic Canada, has announced it will no longer accept cash or cheque payments at retail locations, effective January 1, 2018. Customers will only be able to pay with debit or credit cards in stores.
The move has some customers frustrated, such as Maurice Rees from Bass River, Nova Scotia. He voiced his concern to CBC News, saying “It’s difficult to understand how legal tender is not good for business these days and my concern is for those who perhaps don’t have a credit card or a debit card and the inconveniences this will cause them.”
Customers can pay bills with cash still—but only at their banking institution. Those looking to pay with cheque can mail them to Bell.
Rees added “That would pay off your bill, but I still don’t think it’s fair and it certainly isn’t good customer service.”
Bell told the CBC they’ve seen a “significant decrease” in cash payments, due to the popularity of electronic payments. The reduction of cash payments will enable Bell to streamline their payment processes, said a spokesperson.
Retailers do not have to accept cash, according to the Bank of Canada, “because both parties must agree on the payment method. The fact that banknotes are legal tender does not mean that there is a legal obligation to accept them.”
According to the Bank of Canada last month, 51 per cent of all transactions in 2015 were via cash, compared to 31 per cent for debit and 19 per cent for credit cards.