I have noticed this a few times recently, but finally took the time to really pay attention to it last Saturday. I was eating at Don Mario's in downtown Owensboro (delicious, by the way), wrapped up and walked up to the cashier to pay for my meal. On the receipt, I noticed the Non-Cash Adjustment of $0.53.  Instinctively, I realized that, because I was going to pay with my debit card, I was not going to be saving that amount of money. No, I was definitely going to be paying the full $13.74 on my bill. However, if I did have cash, was I going to save that $0.53?

As it turns out, yeah!  That's the whole point.

Now, I have seen many businesses offer a discount to consumers who pay cash.  I have also seen others, particularly restaurants and convenient stores, add a fee to cover the cost of processing your debit/credit card payments.  Look. I have worked in restaurants and retail and I know those services come with a small fee.  I don't think the business owner should have to eat that and it makes sense for them to pass that cost along to us, the consumers.

Simon Kadula/Unsplash
Simon Kadula/Unsplash
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A discount for paying cash is pretty self-explanatory.  But what exactly is a Non-Cash Adjustment?  I'll admit. I had to do some online research to find out.

I found a great Clearent.com article by John Shipley called "Breaking Down Cash Discounting, Non-Cash Adjustments & Surcharging." Here's how he explains that Non-Cash Adjustment.

With a Non-Cash Adjustment, the merchant’s list prices have a built-in cash discount. In other words, the merchant’s list prices are the cash prices. Customers who pay with credit and Signature debit cards do not receive the discount and will notice a Non-Cash Adjustment on their receipt.

Shipley adds that "Business owners are required to display signage at the entrance of their business and at the point of sale."  He also recommends that restaurants and business owners post both the cash price and the card price of each item "so there is no confusion about how much an item costs." I don't recall Don Mario doing that. But, honestly, I don't think I have ever eaten in a restaurant that has.

So, why do some restaurants do it this way?

A Cervion Systems article outlined "3 Benefits of Implementing an NCA Program in Your Restaurant." Among those benefits, this one: Reduce or eliminate credit card processing expenses.

Okay, I get it. But what is this??  At Don Mario, I noticed this at the bottom of my receipt.

Chad Benefield/WBKR
Chad Benefield/WBKR

So, that got me thinking, "What in the heck is the Durbin Amendment?"

Well, thanks to the internet (particularly YouTube), I found that answer pretty quickly too. This woman is a rock star, by the way.  She's a human Cliffs Notes.

Simply put, the Durbin Amendment (authored by Senator Dick Durbin of Illinois) essentially capped those "transaction fees" that banks can charge a merchant (retail store, convenience store, restaurant, etc) when a customer uses their debit/credit card to pay for a service or goods.

You know the old saying, right? "Cash is king!"  Well, I suppose if businesses are doling out discounts for the customers who pay cash, you can make the case for that. It probably IS king.

But, I am someone who almost never carries cash. I use my debit card to pay for just about every single thing I buy. I guess I am going to have to "adjust" to that Non-Cash Adjustment.

LOOK: Here are 25 ways you could start saving money today

These money-saving tips—from finding discounts to simple changes to your daily habits—can come in handy whether you have a specific savings goal, want to stash away cash for retirement, or just want to pinch pennies. It’s never too late to be more financially savvy. Read on to learn more about how you can start saving now. [From: 25 ways you could be saving money today]

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