Philadelphia bans cashless shops to guard 'unbanked' buyers

Philadelphia Pennsylvania

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As explained by one of the top officials in the state's Chamber of Commerce, the unwillingness of Philadephia to participate on cashless stores may bring the state into severe damage as development would be delayed for their place when in talks with technology and advanced business.

Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney recently signed into law an amendment to the city's Fair Practices Ordinance prohibiting stores and restaurants from refusing to accept cash, calling it "unlawful discrimination". However, businesses like parking garages or lots, hotel accommodations, rental vehicle companies and Costco- that requires an online payment for membership, would be exempted from the said law due to the security for their financial charges on their customers.

Cash usage is on the wane in many areas as Americans increasingly use cards and mobile payment options such as Apple Pay at the point-of-sale.

MA has already banned stores from rejecting cash as payment. "Nearly 10% of Philly residents do not have credit", he wrote.

"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", he told the New York Times. Lawmakers in New York City and New Jersey are considering similar measures.

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More than this, cashless companies also argued that cash slows down transactions on their part due to manual counting and usually harms their staffs that duties at night. The company reportedly plans to open up to 3,000 of these stores throughout the US over the next few years.

Amazon, whose new Amazon Go stores are cashless and queue-less, reportedly pushed back against the new law, asking for an exemption.

Coffee shop Bluestone Lane and popular salad chain Sweetgreen are among the stores now operating in the city that will need to adjust their cashless policies if they want to continue doing business in Philadelphia.

Jeff Bezos' Amazon issued Philadelphia a warning for if the bill passed. Firms that violate the law could be fined up to $2000.

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