Economy

Philadelphia says no to totally cashless future

Philadelphia says no to totally cashless future

Other supporters-a camp which includes The National Retail Federation and The Chamber of Commerce for Greater Philadelphia- argue that cashless businesses are the future, and banning them doesn't advance the issue of getting low-income people access to cash-free payment methods.

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.

Under the law, many transactions will be exempt, including those at parking lots and garages; businesses that sell goods through a membership model; rentals that require security deposits; online, telephone or mail-in transactions; and goods sold exclusively to employees. A New York City councilman is now pushing similar legislation, although nothing has been signed into law just yet.

Almost 6 percent of residents in the Philadelphia region do not have access to credit or bank accounts in 2017 and roughly 22 percent were considered "underbanked", according to the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation.

"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".

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The Philadelphia law also prohibits establishments from charging customers more if they pay in cash, and from posting signs that indicate cash will not be accepted.

Similar legislation has moved through the New York City Council, NBC 4 reported last month.

The Bezos-owned company plans to open up 3,000 cashless stores across the country by 2021.

Amazon, whose new Amazon Go stores are cashless and queue-less, reportedly pushed back against the new law, asking for an exemption. You don't need a paid Prime membership to shop at Amazon's Go stores - only an Amazon account - eliminating the potential for a loophole. Amazon has been expanding its cashierless stores, dubbed Amazon Go outlets, across the nation. If business owners violate the rules, they face up to a $2,000 fine.


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