ATM Association Wants to Ban Cashless Retail Businesses

Opponents say the stores discriminate against people without bank accounts and credit cards.

February 25, 2019

SIOUX FALL, S.D. – The ATM Industry Association (ATMIA) has announced it is backing the proposed ban on cashless retail businesses in New York City, Washington, D.C. and Philadelphia, according to the Associated Press.

Cashless stores limit consumer payment choices and discriminate against people without bank accounts or credit cards, ATMIA has said. The organization reports that 45% of shoppers prefer using cash for retail purchases and add that in times of crisis, regardless of the cause, cash is often the only option. Examples are power system failures and problems with payment networks.

“Why decrease the freedom of choice for citizens in a free market democracy?” asked Mike Lee, ATMIA CEO.

Massachusetts enacted a law banning cashless stores 40 years ago, and recently, New Jersey legislators passed a bill which would prohibit any businesses from refusing to accept cash. That bill now needs the signature of the state governor to become law.

For several years, NACS has reported on the introduction and growth of cashless stores, including operations in China, the U.K. and the U.S. Amazon unveiled its first cashless store near its Seattle headquarters in 2016 and has since announced it will open an additional 3,000 similar outlets by 2021.