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Some Idaho businesses have gone cashless, raising the question: Is that legal?

KTVB looked into it after viewers contacted us about some businesses that stopped accepting cash payments because of coronavirus concerns.

BOISE, Idaho — Are you paying with cash or card? That's a question we've heard time and time again, but since the COVID-19 outbreak, you might be hearing less of it and instead, businesses might be saying "card only."

COVID-19 concerns have some businesses transitioning to cashless payment methods.

You brought this to our attention after talking about it on our Facebook page, so we looked into it. 

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At Michaels, signs are posted urging folks to pay with a card, but workers told KTVB they'd still accept cash. 

Overland Lumber said they prefer cashless payments, however they will still accept cash if need be.

Whole Foods Market has "no cash" checkout lines, but they too, still accept cash. 

However, the popular coffee chain Dutch Bros as well as the Noodles and Company restaurant have both stopped their cash transactions all together. 

In a statement, Dutch Bros said the company made this decision because it is "the best way they could find to reduce touch points and person-to-person contact." 

Some people are wondering if that is legal. 

“There is no law in Idaho that precludes a business, a private business from going cashless,” said David Leroy, legal expert and former Idaho Attorney General. “We have a law on the books that talks about county governments having to take currency, legal tender for tax purposes, but unlike some states, Idaho has never prohibited cashless businesses, nor does it require a business to take cash as a form of payment.” 

He also said that some states do have laws in place to prevent cashless payments because cash is more common in lower income households, but in Idaho, businesses are free to set their payment policies as they'd like. 

Some businesses say they understand not everyone has a credit or debit card, so they encourage you to use prepaid cards if that situation applies to you.

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At KTVB, we’re focusing our news coverage on the facts and not the fear around the virus. To see our full coverage, visit our coronavirus section, here: www.ktvb.com/coronavirus.