New York City Hopes to Ban Cashless Retailers

amazon go store

The New York City Council recently proposed a new bill that could limit retailers’ frictionless goals and ambitions.

Under the new bill introduced by the New York City Council, retailers would be fined for not accepting cash as a form of payment. The bill was introduced Ritchie Torres who represents the working-class communities of the Bronx.

Upon first violation of the bill, a retailer would pay a fine of $250. After the first violation, the cashless operator would then be fined $500 per violaion. If the bill makes it into law, any retailers not accepting cash would have to change standards and comply within 120 days after being put in place.

Many lawmakers, including Torres, believe that retailer who do not accept cash as payment are discrimating against lower income consumers. This is due to lower income consumers that may not being able to afford smartphones or credit cards, which are the only two ways of payment for the new Amazon Go stores. Amazon Go is Amazon’s new cashierless c-store concept and the company has plan to open 3,000 more throughout the country.

Other retailers have opened cashless concepts for their stores such as Starbucks, Sweetgreen, Shake Shack and Dos Toros.

In a recent interview, Torres brought up concerns about cash users being stigmatized like food stamp users have been. When Torres was asked what reaction he expects from retailers, he said, “I expect a big fight.”

The retail chains argue that cash slows down the process because it has to be counted out in order to complete the transaction.

A bill that would ban cashless restaurants was introduced by a Washington D.C. council member this past July. If the bill is made into law, foodservice operators would have to accept cash. They would also no longer be able to post signs about not accepting cash or charge different prices for different types of payment.

In November of 2017, a vote was postponed by Chicago’s City Council regarding a proposal to ban cashless retailers. Since then, Amazon Go has opened three locations in Chicago.

What do you think about banning cashless businesses? We want to know your thoughts!