NYC Votes to Ban Cashless Stores

Meanwhile in Oregon, a measure to limit self-checkout stations in grocery stores advances.

January 27, 2020

NEW YORK—Cashless stores just received serious pushback in a recent decision made by New York City lawmakers last week. The City Council adopted by a 43-3 vote a bill that requires all stores to accept cash, in addition to electronic-based methods, reports Fox News.

ABC News reports the bill will take effect 90 days after it is signed. There are a handful of exceptions: Stores can refuse to take denominations larger $20 and would be exempt if there is a machine on-site that can load cash onto a prepaid card.

In 2019, Philadelphia, San Francisco and New Jersey all passed similar laws, with the common sentiment that cashless stores are unfair to residents who don’t have bank accounts or those who prefer to use cash. In New York, nearly 11.2% of residents do not have a bank account.

On the flip side, businesses argue that cashless shopping has helped improve safety at stores when it comes to theft or loss since cashiers and managers don’t have to handle cash and bank deposits. Going cashless also helps stores create a more seamless experience for customers.

Other “seamless” attributes in stores are also facing pushback, such as in Oregon, where the Oregon Supreme Court certified the attorney general’s description of a measure to limit the number of self-checkout stations at grocery stores to two. The Mail Tribune says that supporters need 111,020 signatures to get it on the ballot in November.