Philadelphia Passes Law to Steer away from Cashless Economy

Philadelphia has signed a law preventing most businesses from denying cash

Philadelphia has become the first city in the U.S. to ban cashless stores following a City Council vote against the retail practice.

In the age of cashless shopping and digital payments, Philadelphia mayor Jim Kenney thinks otherwise.

The US city of Philadelphia has joined both the states of MA and New Jersey in the introduction of new laws concerning how cash can be utilized in retail stores.

There are exemptions to the statue, with parking lots, garages, and businesses who sell goods through a membership model - such as gyms - able to continue operations as normal.

MA and Philadelphia have already banned stores from rejecting cash as payment, and New York City and New Jersey are considering similar measures.

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Cashless policies are increasing in popularity in cities across America, as business owners say the switch from tangible cash to digital payment deters theft and increases efficiency.

In New York and San Francisco, initiatives are working their way through legislative channels, but no city council votes are scheduled for now.

Speaking with the NYT, the bill's co-sponsor Bill Greenlee, City Councilman, explained, "It just seemed to me unfair that I could walk into a coffee shop right across from City Hall, and I had a credit card and could get a cup of coffee". None of Amazon's stores accept cash unless required by law.

Stores that do not accept cash are on the rise, from quick-service lunch spots to Amazon's Go stores.

However, the latest move by Philadelphia aims to make it mandatory for stores and retailers to accept cash. The company reportedly plans to open up to 3,000 of these stores throughout the US over the next few years. Still, Amazon Go expressed their disapproval with the state's law. Amazon has been expanding its cashierless stores, dubbed Amazon Go outlets, across the nation. Firms that violate the law could be fined up to $2000.

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