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Letter: Cash at KFC


My family and I (all seven of us) went to our local KFC in Southern KS this past Wednesday. As it costs a little more for a family of seven to eat out, I tend to carry some extra cash on me. When I pulled out a $100 bill to pay, the cashier took me to the side and requested I print out my name and drivers license number on a pre-printed sheet he had next to the register. He indicated this was corporate policy when dealing with $100 bills.

I’m not sure this is newsworthy, but the more I thought about it the more it bothered me. I do not particularly want my name on a list of persons who pay bills by cash. Although my spending patterns can be tracked just as easily by credit card, I think I would prefer using the old credit card or smaller bills rather than corporations, such as Yum Brands, knowing I may keep larger denominations of cash on hand. – J in KS

HJL Responds: This probably has more to do with the fact that the $100 bill is the most counterfeited bill in the world than any monetary policy on a cashless society. However, keeping your contact information on file is a rather poor administrative policy compared to training personnel to recognize the counterfeit bills in the first place. Where there are very good counterfeits in circulation, they are not common. Most are poor quality, and some are ridiculously poor quality. I tend to believe that this policy says more about the failure of our culture and education than anything else. The thing to watch for is that this is the type of policy that can be used to push for a cashless society. Anytime you use a representation of value as an exchange medium, you face a risk of counterfeiting. TPTB [1] will suggest that you let them take the risk of the counterfeiting by you going cashless. You might also call corporate KFC. I have found it is often only the local office policy that causes concern, but they blame corporate. Shining the light on such poor policies to upper management often has the effect of eradicating them.