March 9 (UPI) — Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney has signed off on a new law that will make the city the first in the United States to ban cashless stores.
Kenney signed the bill Thursday that makes most businesses accept cash instead of just credit or debit cards.
It will take effect starting in July.
Similar legislation has been introduced in New York City, but Philadelphia is the first major U.S. city to actually ban cashless stores.
Statewide, Massachusetts has already had a policy against cash-free businesses for a long time.
The ban applies to most retailers and restaurants in the city and violations can result in a $2,000 fine.
Businesses that have gone cashless cite more efficiency and safety because employees don’t have to count or make change for cash and carry it in large amounts.
However, supporters of the bill say that cashless stores are unfair to people who don’t have credit or debit cars or prefer to use cash for privacy reasons.
Councilman Bill Greenlee, who introduced the bill, said in a 6 ABC report that merchants who only accept non-cash transactions discriminate against the poor.