Citing discrimination against those that don’t have a bank, New York City Council has voted to ban cashless stores.
The vote was passed almost unanimously and the bill is expected to be signed and implemented by Mayor Bill De Blasio according to what he told CNN.
The ban follows that of New Jersey, Philadelphia and San Francisco, which all brought in cashless bans on businesses solely using cashless payments last year.
Councilman Ritchie Torres stated on Twitter: “No longer in NYC will brick-and-mortar businesses have the right to refuse cash [and] effectively discriminate against customers who lack access to credit and debit.”
He added: “The City of New York cannot allow the digital economy to leave behind the 25 percent of New Yorkers who are chronically unbanked and underbanked. The marketplace of the future must accommodate the needs of vulnerable New Yorkers.”
In the result of companies not abiding and refusing to offer cash transactions, the council has outlined that they will be punished with a $1000 fine for a first violation and $1500 for further incidents.
The ban is aimed at increasing the inclusivity of the city to those that use cash, specifically the most vulnerable, which includes undocumented immigrants, the elderly and the homeless.
It has received a plethora of plaudits from many campaigners, with them arguing that society’s move towards a cashless economy and payment structure serves to significantly isolate those who need help the most.
Nonetheless, as society becomes increasingly cashless and alternative methods of payments become more and more prevalent due to their efficiency, there is a chance that the ban will hinder the allure of businesses to enter New York City.
Expert analysis: As much as the the evolution of payments is something to be lauded, it’s pivotal that the payment industry is far reaching and engages all. There is still segment of people that utilise cash based payments, so for a city like New York to still accommodate them, it’s undoubtedly the right decision.