Philadelphia bans cashless retail outlets to protect low-income residents

Cashless stores will soon be disappearing from Philadelphia. The push is to protect low-income residents. With effect from July 1, the Philadelphia law requires retail stores in the city to accept cash.

State legislature in New Jersey and New York City too has proposed for the same, but as of now Philadelphia becomes the first major US city to outlaw such outlets.

Major Jim Kenney signed off the law this week making it illegal for retail outlets not to accept cash. Surcharging on cash-paying customers will also be unlawful and businesses could face fines of up to $2,000.

Supporters to the move said the new law will protect low-income residents who are usually unable to access credit or debit cards. Such community makes purchases by only paying through cash.

According to media reports certain businesses however will be exempted from the new law and those include garages, parking lots, rental companies and wholesale stores.

Meanwhile, some business leaders in Philadelphia have expressed concerns arguing that the government has not right to interfere about how retail outlets would run their operation and what would be the mode of accepting payments from customers.

Paul Linus