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Bank closure forces Esquimalt bakery to stop being cash-only and add credit cards

Esquimalt Bake Shop had to switch to credit cards last week as last bank in town closes
Hong (left) and Cam Nguyen at the Esquimalt Bake Shop, who recently had to move away from their cahs-only policy after the last bank in town shut down. (Courtesy of Esquimalt Bake Shop)

An Esquimalt bakery has been forced to cancel its cash-only business model after a bank closure cut customers off from their dough.

The Esquimalt Bake Shop had been cash-only throughout its more than three-decade history serving up various treats and bread.

Last week, the bakery was forced to get set up with a credit card system after the last bank in Esquimalt, an RBC in the same plaza, shut down in recent weeks. The RBC on Esquimalt Road is now permanently closed, leaving only a handful of ATMs in the community.

“Society was moving cashless, so we knew eventually we’d have to switch, but this forced us to do it a little sooner,” Loc Huynh, son of owners Hong and Cam Nguyen, said. “My parents are kind of old school, they don’t even really know how to use a phone.”

Renowned for their reasonable prices, some customers worried on social media that the change would mean prices would rise to cover the typical per-transaction fees credit cards charge, or worse could threaten the longevity of the popular donut dealer.

Huynh said it’s too early to say how the move will impact business, but that many customers who’ve come in have been generous with their tips, which has helped cover those fees. He added people have been patient with his mother, Hong, as she gets used to the new technology.

According to both Visa and Mastercard’s websites, the fee for merchants to accept a Classic Visa card is 1.25 per cent, while it’s 0.92 per cent for a basic Mastercard.

Huynh said he’d heard from a number of customers, about how the bank closure would trouble them, noting that a number of seniors who live in nearby senior living facilities would likely struggle.

Huyn said his family will have to change their own banking for the bakery with the closure, with the bank was also being a means to grab change if the business ran out.

READ MORE: ‘We’re bankless!’: Esquimalt residents alarmed as town’s only bank closes


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