Crying foul over potential discrimination, state and local governments are cracking down.
When Philadelphia City Councilman Bill Greenlee heard that a coffee shop and a salad restaurant right near City Hall didn’t accept cash, he thought it sounded unfair.
“I can get my coffee and muffin, but the person behind me who has the monetary unit of the United States of America, that’s been accepted here in Philadelphia since Ben Franklin, can’t?” he said in an interview. “It just seemed wrong.”
So last October, Greenlee (who uses both card and cash) co-sponsored a bill. In March, Mayor Jim Kenney signed it into law.
Cashless stores and events are just starting to crop up in the retail landscape with much hoopla — consider the splashy launches of— but they’re already running into hurdles from legislators in cities and states around the country. These governments are concerned that what some see as technological innovation could actually widen societal gaps between those who have access to financial services and those who don’t.