City Council Expected To Pass Bill Banning Cashless Stores

Rich Lamb
January 23, 2020 - 11:42 am
Cashless Store

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NEW YORK (WCBS 880) — All New York City food and retail establishments will soon have to accept cash under a bill expected to pass the City Council on Thursday.

The measure requires brick-and-mortar businesses to accept cash or face penalties of up to $1,5000.

Bronx Council Member Ritchie Torres, the measure's sponsor, says cutting edge business establishments currently refusing cash payments discriminate against people lacking a credit or debit card.

"There are some New Yorkers who prefer cash because it is more protective of their privacy because it does not involve the dissemination of private information and there are some New Yorkers who prefer cash because it's more conducive to fiscal restraint because we spend less when using cash than when using a credit card," Torres said.

Stores can opt to have a cash drawer or can choose to install a machine to convert cash into a gift card.

“Cash is the great equalizer, it is the universal currency and it should and will command universal acceptance among all food and retail establishments here in New York City,” Torres said.

The law won't take effect until the fall and also prohibits stores from charging customers higher prices for paying in cash. 

Last year, Gov. Phil Murphy signed legislation barring cashless stores in New Jersey.

Related: As cashless stores grow, so does the backlash