Alice’s Restaurant or Bob’s corner shop in Paris or anywhere else in France wishes to go “card only”. Is this legally allowed?

  • I’ve rejected an edit assuming a typo where there was none. Jul 17, 2023 at 15:18

1 Answer 1


France: No

CashEssentials writes

French Authorities Remind Merchants that Accepting Cash is Obligatory

France practices what is sometimes referred to as a hard version of legal tender. That means that the acceptance of cash is compulsory by law. According to article R642-3 of the penal code, the refusal to accept coins and banknotes which are legal tender is punished by a second-class fine, which is currently set at €150.

Edit: another source of information is in Can shops in France refuse to take payments in cash?

Some exceptions remain
There are some circumstances, however, where shops are not legally required to accept cash payments.

  • If coins or banknotes are in poor condition, shops can refuse to take them
  • If you try to use more than 50 coins to make a single payment
  • If a shop does not have the correct money to give you change

Finally, some shops are authorised not to accept cash payments for safety reasons (such as shops that open late at night). This extends to objects, such as parking meters, which are allowed to be fully cashless to limit cases of vandalism.

Canada: Yes

CBC News writes

Is it legal for a store to refuse my cash?

The Bank of Canada says it's up to sellers to determine what kinds of payment they will accept for transactions, and there is "no law" that would require anyone to accept bank notes or any other form of payment for a commercial transaction.

However, in certain circumstances, refusing to take cash in a store may actually violate provincial human rights codes.

UK: Yes

The UK Parliament reports on a petition that they debated

Make it unlawful for shops to refuse cash payments.
Make it illegal for retailers and services to decline cash payments.

The government does not plan to mandate cash acceptance. While the government recognises the ability to transact in cash remains important to millions of people across the UK, particularly those in vulnerable groups, it remains the choice of individual businesses as to whether to accept or decline any form of payment, including cash or card. This may be based on factors such as customer preference and cost.

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