Philadelphia Outlaws Cashless Stores, Calling Them Discriminatory

An Amazon Go store which does not accept cash

Philadelphia bans cashless stores; will New York City do it next?

The legislation, which Mayor Jim Kenney signed into law on February 28, aims to protect low-income citizens who might not have access to a bank account. While the convenience of technology has convinced many retailers to shift to credit cards and mobile payments only, Philly's leaders opted for the opposite, citing their 26-percent poverty rate and poor consumers, some of whom do not even have bank accounts. Some transactions are reportedly exempt: parking lots, garages, businesses that offer memberships, rentals with security deposits, electronic transactions and goods sold only to staff.

As reported, if you want to start a business that only accepts crypto in the state, the chance that it will be considered as an illegal store may occur due to the law.

But with more than eight million households without bank accounts in the USA, opposition to the practice believe it's prejudicial.

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. They accepted cash before, ' Greenlee added.

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

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The Bezos-owned company plans to open up 3,000 cashless stores across the country by 2021. According to the WSJ, Philadelphia lawmakers said that Amazon could work around the law under the exemption for stores that require a membership to shop there, but Amazon told the city that a Prime membership is not required to shop at Amazon Go stores, so its options are limited.

This comes as cashless stores have been on the rise.

But after a short-lived trial period, the fast-food chain about-turned on the idea after customer backlash. Firms that violate the law could be fined up to $2000.

'Our priority has to be the folks who live here now, who were paying taxes, ' Councilman Greenlee said.

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