New Jersey legislators last week passed a bill with overwhelming support to prevent businesses from banning consumers from using cash for purchases. The bill, which now goes to Gov. Phil Murphy for his signature, would make New Jersey only the second state to protect cash-using customers in stores.
The proposed law, A591, applies only to point-of-sale purchases and excludes mail, telephone and Internet sales. Car-rental companies are exempted. The legislation passed the state Assembly Friday on a 71-2 vote following the state Senate’s 39-0 endorsement Thursday.
“Many people do not have access to consumer credit, and any effort by retail establishments to ban the use of cash would be discriminatory towards those people,” one of the bill’s main sponsors, state Rep. Paul D. Moriarty, D-Camden/Gloucester, said in a news release issued by Assembly Democrats. “The U.S. dollar is legal tender and should be accepted at any retail establishment in New Jersey.”
Moriarty and other sponsors criticized Visa Inc.’s “Visa Cashless Challenge” marketing effort that rewarded 50 food-service businesses with $10,000 each in 2018 for best explaining how making their purchase systems cashless would improve their operations.