Philadelphia has reportedly become the first city in the United States to ban cashless stores and restaurants in an attempt to be more “inclusive” to Americans without bank accounts.
According to the Daily Mail, cashless stores and restaurants have faced criticism because “many believe the policy actually discriminates against those without bank accounts or credit cards,” and now cashless companies could face fines in Philadelphia.
“Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney signed a motion last week banning stores in the city from enacting a cashless service. As of July 1, any businesses failing to comply with the law will face fines of up to $2,000,” the Mail reported, adding that “parking lots, garages, and businesses who sell goods through a membership model – such as gyms,” and Internet transactions, are exempt from the ban.
Councilman and co-sponsor of the bill Bill Greenlee told CBS, “I can go into a coffee shop across from City Hall that’s cashless and get my coffee and muffin, but the person behind me that has United States currency can’t get the same cup of coffee. It’s a fairness issue; it creates an us-and-them kind of situation.”
“We are not asking them to do something they don’t know how to do. They accepted cash before,” he continued.
The Philadelphia bill states, “A person selling or offering for sale consumer goods or services at retail is prohibited from refusing to accept cash as a form of payment to purchase goods or services.”
“A person selling or offering for sale goods or services at retail shall not: a. Refuse to accept cash as a form of payment; b. Post signs on the premises that cash payment is not accepted; c. Charge a higher price to customers who pay cash than they would pay using any other form of payment,” the bill declared.
The New York Times also reported that the state of New Jersey, New York City, San Francisco, Washington, D.C., and Chicago are also considering a ban on cashless establishments.