GENOA, Ark. (KTAL/KMSS) — Cash options are slowly being taken away, which is something our senior citizens are expected to adjust to.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, many establishments that were open for business were only accepting cashless transactions. The “card only” option continues as many embrace the ease of tap to pay – but where does that leave many older citizens who have not yet adapted to the digital age or fear identity theft or having their bank accounts hacked?

“Genoa School District held a regional tournament for baseball over the weekend,” Genoa resident Karen Douglas, said. “And we were told by the AAA, which is Arkansas Activities Association, that there would be no cash accepted. That all purchases for tickets would have to be paid online.”

With the constant usage of smartphones and debit cards, online payments might eventually become the only option.

Douglas said she watched as many attendees attempted to purchase tickets at the gate after learning that the tournament was cash only.

“They were not allowed to accept cash, at all,” Douglas said. “And there were a lot of people I could see just by body language were very exacerbated. Some left.”

Douglas said she has two people very close to her that do not have smartphones or debit cards.

“And it just got me thinking about how marginalized that people will be by this because I know my mother and my husband can’t be the only people that this is affecting this way,” Douglas said. “And my husband loves to go watch the grandkids play ball. And he doesn’t have a smartphone or credit card. So that means someone has to purchase a ticket for him or go with him if he wants to go.”

Douglas is hoping something changes before the teams play in the next tournament.

“The state championship, or semi-finals, are this week and into the next week. And the AAA is in charge of that and I would love for them to allow people who will be traveling five hours from this area to be able to pay cash if they want to.”

Caddo Counseling on Aging provides resources for seniors in the area. When it comes to learning technology, they have a simple suggestion.

“So when your grandkids, or even maybe your kids come over, just ask them, sit down, teach me how to work the phone, how to do the social media, how to look up a website,” Monica Wright, Executive Director of CCOA said.

Douglas said she also reached out to local and state officials about the issue.