Added 15 July, 2017
Visa has declared war on cash and its "opening salvo" is to start paying restaurants $10,000 to go completely cash free. The credit card giant is this week announcing a new plan to hand out thousands of dollars to up to 50 small food and restaurant vendors if they agree to stop taking cash. Visa will also upgrade the restaurants' checkout terminals so they can accept contactless payments, like Apple Pay, and invest in some of the stores' marketing costs. When you pay at one of the stores you would only be able to do so with a credit or debit card, or via mobile payment. The program participants will be picked from an online application that starts in August. It's all part of the trend of moving towards a "cashless" society. Sweden is leading the pack, with that nation already predicted to become the world's first truly cash-free society; over half the banks there already do not keep any cash on hand. But the U.S. is catching up: Amazon's brick-and-mortar retail stores only accept credit cards and mobile payment methods; Facebook recently added a peer-to-peer payment option with its Messenger service; and Apple's iOS11 will include an upgrade to its ApplePay system that allows users to send money to each other via text message. This is all in addition to services like Venmo, a popular way for consumers — especially the younger generation — to send money to each other easily and quickly.