Many stores in the US, for instance, Everlane or Sweetgreen, allow only cashless transactions. These stores can be very convenient; however, they can also not be good for low-income shoppers. Such shops only prefer payment with credit cards, Google pay or an App, etc. Such companies argue that cashless pay makes the shopping experience hassle-free. Philadelphia has just passed a bill to ban the stores that prefer cashless payments.
Public advocates and lawmakers had already said that the concept of cashless payment is not good for low-income shoppers. It marginalizes the ones who either don’t have access to credit lines or those who are not tech-savvy.
Philadelphia has banned several cashless stores. The law that was passed is not applicable to parking garages, or business that needs a security deposit, or rental car businesses, etc. However, by July 2019, all the stores in Philadelphia will need to provide the option of paying with cash to the customers.
This bill was signed by Mayor Jim Kenney last week and made Philadelphia the first city in the US to take such an action against these stores. Other US cities are also trying to follow this law. Chicago had tried to apply similar laws and ban such stores, but, it did not work for them. In New Jersey as well, they had passed a similar law. Politicians in New York City are also trying to apply this law.
There are some people who are not supporting this law, but most people are. Many restaurants as well are cashless and say that it is the future. They say that being cashless is good for them. It frees their employees from collection, recording, counting money. They also say that cash transactions lead to losses, especially when they are not monitored and maintained regularly. It leads to theft as well.
However, some top officials consider that cashless payment stores are like discrimination to people who do not have credit cards because most of them are minority or immigrants. In Philadelphia city, there are about 400,000 residents below the poverty line. So, cashless doors will always be closed for such people.