Cashless stores, restaurants banned in NYC over discrimination concerns

by Jordyn Pair · Jan 24th, 2020 11:11 am

The New York City Council voted Thursday to prohibit businesses from only accepting cashless forms of payment such as credit card, debit, or digital payments, saying that it discriminates against poorer customers who do not have access to digital forms of payment.

"Whatever your reasons, consumers should have the power to choose their preferred method of payment," said city councilman Ritchie Torres, who drafted the bill.

The bill makes it illegal for stores to refuse a cash payment, although it does provide exceptions. Stores can refuse to take denominations larger than $20 and would be exempt from the ban if they had a machine on site that could load cash onto a prepaid card.

The law, which will take effect 90 days after it is signed, would fine first-time violators $1,000.

Mayor Bill de Blasio said he supports the bill, according to a spokeswoman.