Philadelphia bans cashless stores; will New York City do it next?

Kenny Grant
March 11, 2019

The US city of Philadelphia has joined both the states of MA and New Jersey in the introduction of new laws concerning how cash can be utilized in retail stores.

Siding with the critics, Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney signed a motion last week banning stores in the city from enacting a cashless service.

Cash usage is on the wane in many areas as Americans increasingly use cards and mobile payment options such as Apple Pay at the point-of-sale.

MA requires all stores to accept cash, while New Jersey has taken a further step by banning cashless stores altogether in an attempt to keep cash in circulation and retain paying cash as a service to those who have no other means of payment.

As reported, if you want to start a business that only accepts crypto in the state, the chance that it will be considered as an illegal store may occur due to the law.

There are exemptions to the statue, with parking lots, garages, and businesses who sell goods through a membership model - such as gyms - able to continue operations as normal.

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Statewide, Massachusetts has already had a policy against cash-free businesses for a long time.

Similar legislation is under consideration in cities including New York, San Francisco, Chicago and Washington, DC.

Almost 6 percent of residents in the Philadelphia region do not have access to credit or bank accounts in 2017 and roughly 22 percent were considered "underbanked", according to the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation.

Stores that do not accept cash are on the rise, from quick-service lunch spots to Amazon's Go stores. Businesses that violate the law could reportedly be fined up to $2,000.

The Bezos-owned company plans to open up 3,000 cashless stores across the country by 2021.

In Philadelphia, Councilman Allan Domb said Amazon issued a warning that they would re-consider implementing an Amazon Go store in the city if the bill passed.

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