PHILADELPHIA (KUTV) – Philadelphia has become the first city in the country to ban cashless businesses.
According to a CBS News report, Philadelphia has passed a law requiring most retail establishments to accept cash, making it the first American city to do so.
Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney signed the law and passed it by city council in February.
The law will come into force on July 1 and business owners who do not comply will be fined up to $ 2,000.
According to CBS News, cashless fonts are gaining popularity in a number of cities, with some business owners stating that cash handling is "inefficient" and "invites theft". But opponents said that cashless institutions excluded "unbanked" people or those without a current account or savings account. According to the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, 8.4 million people were not banked in 2017.
Philadelphia City Councilor Bill Greenlee, who was also a co-sponsor of the bill, told CBS News that the new law would restore everyone's right with money to do business in the stores.
"I can go to a coffee shop in front of City Hall without money and get my coffee and my muffin, but the person behind me who has the US currency can not have the same cup of coffee. It's a question of fairness, it creates one and their kind of situation, "he told CBS News.
Greenlee also argued that companies have been operating efficiently for a long time while accepting cash.
"We are not asking them to do something that they do not know how to do." he said. "They accepted the money before."
At present, no federal law requires companies to accept cash; and across the country, only Massachusetts has a law that requires stores to accept cash, according to CBS News. However, concerns about cashless businesses are increasing, with similar laws being proposed in New Jersey and New York, as well as in the cities of Chicago, San Francisco and Washington, D.C.
The cashless ban also prompted reactions, particularly from Amazon, which warned Philadelphia officials that the ban would affect plans to open a brick and mortar site in the city. city. According to an Associated Press report, the online retailer declined to comment.
The law does not cover transactions that take place in parking lots and garages, or companies that operate according to a membership model. Greenlee told CBS News that Philadelphia was willing to work with companies concerned about regulation. But it is clear that the law protects the "ordinary Philadelphians".
"Our priority is the people who live here now and who pay taxes," he told CBS News.