Philadelphia Passes Law to Steer away from Cashless Economy

Gladys Abbott
March 11, 2019

The City of Philadelphia has banned "cashless" stores because allowing retail stores to stop accepting cash would discriminate against folks who don't have a bank account or credit card or who prefer using cash, according a Thursday report from The New York Times.

Under the law, many transactions will be exempt, including those at parking lots and garages; businesses that sell goods through a membership model; rentals that require security deposits; online, telephone or mail-in transactions; and goods sold exclusively to employees.

As usual, not all citizens of Philadelphia agrees with the concept of the new law.

Philadelphia has become the first major USA city to ban cashless stores and restaurants in a move created to end discrimination against the unbanked. Emails obtained by the Inquirer showed that the web giant also lobbied city officials to try to carve itself out of the cash requirement.

On the contrary, supporters of the law stated their opinion regarding the matter.

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Philadelphia city councilman William Greenlee, who introduced the bill, said that most of the people who don't have credit tend to be lower income, minority or immigrants, and it is a form of discrimination by businesses against them when not accepting cash.

His claim found footing in a recent survey held in the city which found that about six percent of Philadelphia's population does not have access to banking services. You don't need a paid Prime membership to shop at Amazon's Go stores - only an Amazon account - eliminating the potential for a loophole.

Unfortunately, another major industry may be harmed with this regulation which is the virtual currencies or cryptocurrencies.

The law, which takes effect on July 1, could lead to fines of up to $2,000 on businesses that do not take cash. Besides Philadelphia, Massachusetts has required that retailers accept cash since 1978, according to CBS.

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