Philadelphia becomes first USA city to ban cashless stores

Andrew Cummings
March 11, 2019

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.

The law takes effect July 1, and it will not apply to stores like Costco that require a membership, nor will it apply to parking garages or lots, or to hotels or rental vehicle companies that require a credit or debit card as security for future charges, according to the Wall Street Journal. Some transactions are reportedly exempt: parking lots, garages, businesses that offer memberships, rentals with security deposits, electronic transactions and goods sold only to staff.

Retailers who've adopted the practice may argue that eradicating cash makes for more convenient shopping, but many believe the policy actually discriminates against those without bank accounts or credit cards.

It will take effect starting in July. MA has long had a prohibition on its books against establishments refusing to accept cash.

According to the New York Times, New Jersey, New York, San Francisco and Chicago are all considering adopting similar laws.

Philadelphia City Councilman William Greenlee, who introduced the bill, says: "Most of the people who don't have credit tend to be lower income, minority, immigrants". Greenlee also said that local stores will now be required "to do what businesses have been doing since Ben Franklin was walking the streets of Philadelphia".

According to the Inquirer, Amazon is concerned it won't be able to open Amazon Go stores in Philadelphia since customers pay for items through an online account after leaving the store.

It's unclear if Amazon Go could expand to Philadelphia.

City spokesman Mike Dunn confirmed Amazon told the city the legislation would "impede" plans for a Go store.

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