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How to reconcile the cashless Human\Federation society with human traders and merchants

...and tries to buy a drink.

From You are Cordially Invited, Season 6, Episode 7:

QUARK: Well then, you have my sympathies and the first round of drinks is on the house.
JAKE: Really?
QUARK: No. It's a figure of speech.

If Quark charges customers at his bar -- even though I've never seen Quark collect money at the bar, he has been known to count gold-pressed latinum after hours (The House of Quark, Season 3, Episode 3) -- how do the Starfleet officers drink?

If the United Federation of Planets (officially) has no currency, what do they pay for their drinks with?

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  • @Xantec Isn't this actually a duplicate of that? It even mentions Quark's bar.
    – Izkata
    Commented Jul 19, 2012 at 12:00
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    @Izkata If there's not any canoncial details specific to Quark's bar, such as how Quark gets reimbursed for Starfleet tabs, or if different officers have different amounts to 'spend' at the bar, then this question is most certainly a duplicate -- but with a better title :)
    – CamelBlues
    Commented Jul 19, 2012 at 17:01
  • I think it is basically a dupe.
    – Chad
    Commented Jul 19, 2012 at 19:57
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    Your title sounds like a beginning of a comedian's joke. Lol
    – iMerchant
    Commented Jun 8, 2016 at 0:13

2 Answers 2


I would say they would probably use Federation Credits (this may not be the official name for it) to pay for drinks and goods on the Promenade. In at least two episodes (Body Parts and Take Me Out To The Holosuite), Quark accepted credits as payment. Perhaps it is an electronic transfer and that's why we don't routinely see a physical exchange of money.

  • Whaaaaa???!!! I didn't even know there were Federation Credits!!!
    – CamelBlues
    Commented Jul 19, 2012 at 19:35
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    @CamelBlues yes backed by Latinum.
    – Chad
    Commented Jul 19, 2012 at 19:56
  • Federation doesn't use money. Any currency exchange can be represented by a bank account transfer and electronic Latinum exchanges were in both the episodes and the books. Are you just thinking of Quark extending credit (bar tabs)? There is no such thing as Federation credits.
    – Hack-R
    Commented Jan 1, 2017 at 20:06
  • Federation Credits appear to be an interplanetary currency, not a personal currency. I can't pay my rent with International Debt Bonds.
    – Valorum
    Commented May 10, 2020 at 18:25

They pay with Gold Pressed latinum sometimes. That's Quark's favorite currency, and even Starfleet officers seem to have some. As far as why we rarely (because I feel certain that I have seen payment collection) see customer's paying, how often do we see it in Cheers, which takes place mainly in a bar? I think this is one of the things TV shows can leave out, as the audience's mind simply assumes its happening.

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    He keeps tabs and bills their accounts. It is mentioned frequently.
    – Hack-R
    Commented Jan 1, 2017 at 20:09
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    Re examples: I know we've seen Jadzia Dax handle latinum on multiple occasions, but I think that was mostly for games of Tongo and similar activities.
    – Kevin
    Commented Mar 6, 2018 at 18:00

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