Knott’s Berry Farm Announces Cashless Initiative

Throughout the pandemic, adoption of contactless payments has continued to grow. This not only includes use of mobile wallets but also tap to pay technology on traditional credit and debit cards. In turn, some retailers have also begun discouraging the use of cash or even disallowing acceptance of it all together. Now, a major Southern California theme park has joined the list of places where cash will be all but unwelcomed.

This week, Knott’s Berry Farm in Buena Park, California announced that it would be going cashless. Starting Monday, November 15th, the park will exclusively accept credit cards, debit cards, or mobile payments such as Apple Pay or Google Pay. However, cash will still be accepted at all parking booths, at Christmas Crafters inside the park, at California Marketplace, and at the Knott’s Berry Farm Hotel.

Meanwhile, guests with cash can visit Cash-to-Card kiosks that will be available at the resort. These kiosks will allow park vistors to load between $1 and $500 onto a prepaid card that can be used at Knott’s as well as anywhere else Visa is accepted. Although there is no fee for loading cash onto a card, the park warns that there will be a $3.95 per month service fee charged on any remaining card balance if the card has no transaction activity for 92 days or more.

Incidentally, Knott’s isn’t the first theme park to go cashless. Previously, some Six Flags locations made similar moves, including offering cash-to-card kiosks. Meanwhile, although Disney Parks have signs advising guests that contactless transactions are preferred, cash is still accepted.

While the transition to cashless payments may seem natural to some, certain cities and states have made moves to bar businesses that don’t accept cash. For example, the city of San Fransisco passed a cashless ban in 2019 and later reaffirmed it when some restaurants were wary to accept cash in the early days of the pandemic. The state of New Jersey also has a ban on cashless businesses — making the fact that Six Flags Great Adventure has moved to a card and mobile payments-only model all the more interesting.

Ultimately, with Knott’s Berry Farm and other theme parks instating cashless policies, it will be interesting to see how consumers — and perhaps lawmakers — react to such changes. While there’s sure to be pushback from some, it stands to reason that such policies will continue to increase adoption for mobile payments and other contactless technologies going forward. Elsewhere, while cash-to-card kiosks are one option, you can bet that there are FinTechs currently pondering even better solutions that might be implemented in the future.

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Jonathan Dyer

I'm a small town guy living in Los Angeles looking to make solid financial decisions. I write for a number of finance websites, including HuffingtonPost and Business2Community. I founded in 2015 to focus on personal finance and the emerging FinTech markets.

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