War on Cash: NYC Enforces its Cashless Business Ban

By Jerri-Lynn Scofield, who has worked as a securities lawyer and a derivatives trader. She is currently writing a book about textile artisans.

In a world of not so long ago but that now seems so very far away, the New York City Council passed legislation banning cashless businesses. The vote, 43-3, wasn’t even close and the measure took effect in November 2020.

NYC isn’t the first place to enact such restrictions. In 1978, Massachusetts became the first to enact such a law, requiring retailers to accept cash and credit. In passing its ban in January 2020, NYC joined New Jersey,  Philadelphia and San Francisco, which all approved such bans in 2019. At the time NYC acted, several other cities were mulling similar measures. according to the New York Times in New York City Stores Must Accept Cash, Council Says.

Two rationales motivated NYC’s ban. First was the large number of NYC residents – more than 10% – who lack bank accounts, and thus access to credit cards. Without a credit card, they can’t easily do business with a cashless business. According to the NYT:

The city’s Department of Consumer Affairs said last year that one in nine New York households did not have a bank account, and that one in five were “underbanked,” meaning they had a checking or savings account but relied on something other than a bank to cash a check. Bronx households, the agency said, were around twice as likely not to have a bank account.

Second is general skepticism over the security of cashless transactions, with the NYT noting they raise “the specter of hackers stealing personal data tied to digital transactions.”  T The NYT reported that NYC’s unwillingness to provide carte blanche to new digital technologies extends beyond cashless retail transactions.

But New York City officials have also targeted ride-sharing and meal-delivery apps, as well as facial recognition for building entries — all in an effort to blunt the impact of advancing technology on those who are unable to use it because of financial circumstances, unwilling to for philosophical reasons or vulnerable to its darker aspects.

The penalties for violations look stringent enough to encourage compliance, especially since many of the businesses targeted are smaller ones, such as restaurants, coffee shops, and other sellers of prepared foods. I assume a $1000 fine comprises a significant bite of a day’s takings. According to the NYT:

Under the bill, businesses that refuse cash face fines of $1,000 for a first violation and $1,500 for each subsequent offense. Businesses with devices that convert cash to cards, like those found in many laundromats, are exempt under certain conditions, including a provision that there be no fee for such cards.

Now, since the city passed its cashless transaction ban in January 2020, the pandemic has unfolded. And with it an explosion in deliveries, with many opting for no-contact deliveries.  The cashless transaction ban took effect in November 2020 and that’s allowed all parties time to adjust to the new universe.

I was pleased to see that last week, NYC signalled it wasn’t going to allow businesses to flout the cashless ban – despite the de facto acceptance many have accorded to cashless deliveries and other delivery modifications during the pandemic. The number of unbanked New Yorkers hasn’t changed and they still don’t have the credit cards that would be necessary for them to eschew cash in their day to day activities. NYC has received 128 complaints and issued 21 violations since the ban took effect, according to Eater in NYC Fines Upscale Ice Cream Shop Van Leeuwen for Violating Cashless Ban:

Approximately 301,700 households in NYC, or 9.4 percent of the city’s population, don’t have bank accounts, according to Department of Consumer and Worker Protection data from July 2021, and cannot easily shop at places that don’t accept cash. The majority of the city’s residents who don’t have bank accounts are people of color who live in lower-income neighborhoods without ready access to local banks.

“Cashless businesses isolate the more than 300,000 unbanked households in NYC from making transactions, as well as those who simply choose not to use plastic,” Department of Consumer and Worker Protection commissioner Peter Hatch said in a statement. “This decision is a win for all of us and it ensures that we are all included, regardless of how we choose to pay.”

Last week, NYC went after the upscale Van Leeuwen ice cream shop for repeated violations of the cashless ban. The company’s behavior seems particularly egregious as it seems their outlets aren’t even equipped to accept cash:

Van Leeuwen’s cashless days appear to be over. The fancy, minimalist ice cream purveyor has been ordered to pay over $12,000 in fines for not equipping its various NYC stores to accept cash, violating the city’s recently-enacted ban on cashless businesses.

According to a representative for NYC’s Department of Consumer and Worker Protection, the city received six consumer complaints about Van Leeuwen’s cashless stores after legislation banning the practice went into effect in November 2020. The department then issued Van Leeuwen a cease-and-desist letter, but says that didn’t stop the company from continuing to violate the law. In October, the city charged the ice cream shop with 17 violations of the cashless ban and penalized the company with $12,750 in fines.

Van Leeuwen — which started as an NYC-based food truck in 2008 and now runs over 20 shops in multiple states, and also sold the popular Kraft mac-and-cheese flavored ice cream this summer — did not immediately respond to requests for comment from Eater on the fines.

Now, my one quibble is that it seems the NYC did take a while to come down hard on Van Leeuwen despite its outright flouting of a ban that came into effect last November. The Eater account says the stores weren’t equipped to accept cash. But $12,000 in fines should motivate the company to fix that lapse. Even at an upscale purveyor, $12,000 is a lot of ice cream.

Other companies that might seek to go cashless are now on notice that NYC is serious about enforcing its cashless ban.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email


  1. TimH

    “Massachusetts became the first to enact such a law, requiring retailers to accept cash and credit.”

    So… retailers have to accept credit cards?

    1. Yves Smith

      The way the world works now, any retailer who does not accept credit cards is giving up a ton of revenues. They can be presumed to be money launderers. That’s the only way this behavior would make sense.

      1. Wukchumni

        There is sometimes a line of 20 people cash in hand anticipating reefer hadness @ our local establishment, and 420 doesn’t take plastic.

        Casinos are all cash even if they rather insist you turn it into plastic chips. The racetrack is an all cash business, sans chips though. You buy a paramutual ticket for cash and get paid in cash if you win.

    2. skippy

      In commence law you have to accept reasonable forms of transactional payment because trade is the main issue and not how the token is presented e.g. cash or card, albeit thousand or more in pennies is a burden on the seller …

  2. Hepativore

    I am not familiar with the laws regarding payment, but I thought that there were federal laws that superceded whatever policy individual businesses might have in regards to accepting cash. As cash is a legal tender, I thought that a company has to accept it as payment unless there is a specific reason why they cannot such as being an online or mail-order business.

    One interesting trend I have seen, though, is many smaller business where I live refusing to accept debit cards as payment because of the ridiculous transactional fees imposed on them by the card-issuing company.

    1. Chops

      “Legal tender” means it has to be accepted for payment of a debt. If the store chooses not to sell you something, there’s no debt involved.

        1. Chops

          Sounds pretty clear to me. If a restaurant brings me something and watches me eat it, sounds like they chose to sell it to me and chose for me to become indebted to them. They had their chance to not do so, and didn’t take it. If they want to be cashless, they shouldn’t let me incur a debt.

          1. Yves Smith

            Keep Making Shit Up and you won’t be welcome here. We have zero tolerance for bad faith argumentation to score points or refuse to concede a losing position, as opposed to come to a better understanding.

            Legally it is a debt. You stiff a restaurant and they can sue you in small claims court and attach your bank account or paycheck. That’s assuming it wasn’t a bar and the bouncer drags your ass back in to pay or wash dishes to work off your drinks.

            By the same logic, the bank should have known when they extended you a mortgage, you wouldn’t pay. Your line of argument is a fast track to a foreclosure and trashed credit.

            1. R

              The UK position historically was that taking goods without payment was theft but not paying for the provision of goods or services where possession passes before payment was only a tort and you had to be sued on the debt. Possession of goods turns on aspects of the physical handling (apportionment, measuring, transfer etc.); for example, the UK considers petrol to change possession at the point of pumping.

              The UK only introduced an offence in 1978 of “making off without payment” (very Shakespearean!) to deal with this.

              It is still a defence to the crime to leave your (true) details with the provider for them to seek recovery of the debt, either by payment or through the court. And, presumably, they would be obliged to accept legal tender but legal tender has a very precise definition in the UK, exactly on this point of what is acceptable to settle a legal liability. One requirement is that you are not entitled to demand change – you either pay the exact money or lose the overpayment.

              All this is fresh in my mind because there has been a wonderful example of a UK carpenter spotting the arbitrage in buying limited edition coins of the Royal Mint with a high face value (£100) which sell for only £60-£80 and then using them to purchase petrol. He has been warned wrongly by the police and sorted the situation out. Then did it again, got wrongly arrested by the police (who by this point should have known better) and has now been awarded substantial compensation – as well as getting his discount on his petrol.


    2. Carla

      At least one restaurant in Cleveland (and probably more) has announced that it will only accept cashless payment because it claims to have been robbed of cash repeatedly. So far, no push-back from the city govt that I know of. And we have MANY unbanked individuals in Cleveland.

      1. Hepativore

        But if somebody wanted to challenge this at the Federal level, a court would probably strike it down, would they not?

      2. Scramjett

        Sounds like a classic example of “we don’t want to deal with it, so we’ll make regular folks deal with it instead.” Considering how, often times, victims of identify theft and credit card fraud are pretty much left to fend for themselves.

    3. Jim Trutti

      I don’t get it.
      Most businesses will even give you a discount if you pay cash.
      Transaction fee could be 3% but tax rate is at least 15%. The only reason not to accept cash I can see is that the owner isn’t running the daily operations and does not trust the workers with the cash.
      Cash is one of tiny freedoms we have left, we will all be worse off if it comes to disappear.

  3. Maritimer

    War On Cash. I have yet to see the Cashless advocates address the Elephant in the Room: what happens if the electronic payment/currency system goes down from power failure, solar storm, EMP attack, etc. ?

    Like One-Size-Fits-All Medicine, there is no backup no redundancy, put all the eggs in one basket and hope for the best. Seems to be a pattern.

    1. Brooklin Bridge

      But, but, but we specialize in foom-pas like that; it’s what makes us Americans and we know the first thing out of their lips in such an event, “Who could have EVER, POSSIBLY, IN THEIR WILDEST DREAMS, imagined the power going out??? any more than a plane going into a building? Un-Heard-0f!”

    2. MonkeyBusiness

      With the looming energy crisis, cash will become fashionable once again. Dare I say it, Make Cash Great Again. I always keep around a half month’s worth of spending in cash under my mattress ;) San Francisco is less likely to be affected by extreme weather events, so I figured a half month’s worth should be enough.

      1. The Rev Kev

        Hey, California has those rolling blackouts as the power companies cut it when the risks of a fire are high. In a cashless set up, does that mean that all business would come to a halt in those areas in California? Cash works by itslef. A cashless society has two inbuilt critical failure points – electricity and internet-connectivity and the only backup plan in case of a failure of either is, let me think, actual trade? I can see it now-

        ‘Hey, with the power out, how about I trade you this new pair of leathers shoes for a pack of beer?’

        1. Christopher Kidwell

          Actually no. Cash does NOT work by itself.
          Many businesses have their receipts printed by a printer that needs what? Power.
          That is why when the power goes down in a large area, many businesses stop doing business unless they have a backup generator.

          1. Carla

            Shopkeepers or their cashiers could easily write out receipts by hand. Would it take more time? Uhm, yeah. And?

            A greater problem would be that without any power, you have no lights or refrigeration in the store. In that case, you have to close anyway. If you have a generator, printing receipts would consume a very trivial amount of power.

            Have you actually thought this through, Christopher Kidwell?

            1. Randall Flagg

              An anecdote to your statement Carla, on occasion over the last few years the power went out and at the local general store you just paid with cash and they wrote down the transaction on paper for input to the system later. The biggest problem for them is the loss of product due to the loss of refrigeration.
              I don’t think anyone hurts them selves keeping a little cash secured safely at home. And keeping quiet about it by the way.

            2. Nell

              And as the freezers full of food start thawing the merchant will be quite happy to take cash for the food to be cooked, over gas stoves or in gas fireplaces, rather than lose everything.

              We get cash discounts of at least 5% on goods and 30% of services, as from our plumber, electrician and stylist. They are still making at least 10-to 20% more with cash at that discount than if writing things up and using fee skimming credit cards.

          2. MonkeyBusiness

            Small shops would be fine I would think, since they can keep records by hand. Anyway, I can think of an Asian shop or two that will take my cash whether the power is up or down. Then again, I live pretty close to San Francisco, so my situation might be different from other people here.

      2. James Simpson

        I always keep around a half month’s worth of spending in cash under my mattress

        Thanks for letting the world know; expect a visit at any time. And if there is a fire? My small amount of money is in the bank, guaranteed secure by government legislation.

        Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal.
        Matthew 6:19

        1. drumlin woodchuckles

          “MonkeyBusiness” is only letting the world know if the world know who “MonkeyBusiness” is in analog real life.

          If not, then the world still does not know where that money is.

    3. JBird4049

      It is not electricity that can be the problem. After the fairly large 1989 Loma Prieta Earthquake, which was not even that large, IIRC, the power came back fairly quickly, like within a day or two. Everything else, not so quickly.

  4. flora

    The “cashless society” is a “mother, may I” society, where “mother” is the nat govt and its politics and its banking consortiums. Money is no longer a personal and private store of earned value, it is a questionably granted spending approval of funds from the “overlord” to spend what one has already earned by time and effort on whatever one wants to spend one’s “store of value” on: Girl Scout cookies, garage sales, gifts to young graduates, …one must first ask “permission” from “mother, may I” to “spend” money one has already earned by personal time and effort. Big Mother becomes the new, god-awful middleman (or woman).

    The cashless society is the totally controlled by central govt society.

    Thanks for this post.

    1. Christopher Kidwell

      No, a cashless society is a sane society in the real world.
      I have had many more problems with having to carry cash (or not having any on me) and businesses from cabbies to restaurants not taking credit cards than I have the inverse issue.
      Time to come into the reality of the 21st century: Cash is going bye-bye and all the ‘benefits’ like people being paid ‘under the table’ is disappearing with it.

      1. Yves Smith

        The benefits are not just “under the table” but privacy. I will never use a credit card for a taxi. Same logic as my not having a smart phone.

        And as long as bank have substantial unbanked populations, I don’t see cash going away. And I don’t see anyone having the will to force banks to offer accounts to everyone or have a Post Office bank do that.

        1. James Simpson

          Most taxis in the UK have long since stopped accepting cash. They know card payments are far more secure. The UK has legislation ensuring everyone has access to a bank account.

          1. R

            Er, what? I still have to check that taxis I use in the UK actually *take* cards!

            I think you are confusing taxis with Uber and Lyft private hire vehicles, which are an app-based dystopia all of their own.

      2. James Simpson

        Exactly right. There are no excuses any more, really. I suspect that the main reason for not accepting cards or for promoting cash is to avoid paying tax on income. Long gone, thankfully, are the days when retailers and small builders offered discounts for payment in notes.

        1. Basil Pesto

          I’m actually largely with you on this as 99.5% of my transactions are done with contactless payment (although I don’t think it should be an either/or cash or chip situation), but 1. you haven’t really addressed Yves’ privacy issue (paper trails) 2. the idea that business’ exclusive use of cash drives tax avoidance needs some more evidence, I think. Conversely, an issue we had in Australia with contactless payments is that retails would add a surcharge for card merchant fees, but these would be for something like $0.50 even for just a cup of coffee, approaching 10%. Thankfully legislation + regulation has cracked down on this to a large extent. Still, a surcharge is a bit galling at the best of times, but especially if applied when a retailer insists on cash only because Covid, even though we now know, and have for some time, that transmission by fomites is minute.

      3. drumlin woodchuckles

        You have just made a prediction about cash going bye-bye. We shall see if that happens. I will keep spending cash on places that accept it as long as such places exist. And I suspect legacy cash will still be used in the Patriot Cash Markets ( which establishment hasbarists will call ‘black markets’).

    2. James Simpson

      Cash is issued by central governments and by private banks. Where else did you think it comes from? Governments have enormous control over the amount of cash in circulation.

      1. drumlin woodchuckles

        But can they cancel from a remote location the value of the cash in your hands after it is in your hands? And I don’t mean the value of all the cash at once. I mean the value of the particular cash in your particular possession, without affecting the value of anyone else’s cash.

    1. James Simpson

      What happens if the ATMs stop issuing notes? The cash and electronic systems are the same. It’s time to phase out physical cash.

      1. flora

        Why? If you prefer paying with a credit card then pay with a credit card. I prefer paying locally with cash whenever possible for several reasons. It keeps me from overspending. Why do you want to take that away from me?

  5. Mikerw0

    I remember walking into a new, high end coffee shop on Madison in the upper 40s. They said they don’t take cash. I said no problem, I’ll take my business elsewhere. I have no interest is using apps to buy coffee. I thought they were arrogant twits. Good on NYC.

    1. James Simpson

      If I walk into a café here in the UK and they won’t take debit cards, I walk out again and take my business elsewhere. I have no interest in ensuring I carry enough stealable, loseable cash in my wallet to buy anything.

      1. Robert Dudek

        Someone stealing your cards and your phone (or you losing them) would be, I think, a bigger problem.

  6. scott s.

    Not to mention Democrats want banks to report aggregate bank transactions over $10k (was $600 but I guess realized that was a non-starter)

    1. Carla

      AGGREGATE bank transactions over $10K is ridiculous also. Dems say they’re targeting the rich but as usual, they’re lying. With tracking aggregate bank transactions over $10K, they’re basically hitting everyone over poverty level. I am just about the farthest thing from a Republican, but this Democrat Party is beyond the pale. Unbelievably mendacious.

  7. Felix_47

    I worked at a bar in New York years ago and the owner, whose place I visited periodically, had piles of cash all over. If we went anywhere he paid…..in cash. He was a good guy and was happy to….he was making bank. He liked us, the workers. We hustled. I was expected to hand over cash equivalent to a certain number of drinks per bottle. So there were a number of free drinks in the bottle as well and I kept the cash or gave the customers a free drink. The manager expected a percentage loss rate. And if you were short you had to add the money out of your own pocket. And you counted your bottles when the shift started. I doubt all that was reported to the IRS but quite a bit did get reported because in those days I heard the agents would sit in a car across the street and count the number of customers if they suspected something. But cash leaks. Of course successive regimes have cut the IRS funding so much they probably don’t do that any more. But the owner and manager knew exactly how many bottles they ordered and had. So pilferage was controlled. On the food side it was the same. Of course this was over 50 years ago and the bar is gone and the owner is dead and the manager is dead. But I wonder why businesses do not want cash? You have to pay a fee with a credit card as a merchant. You don’t get to take cash out of the cash register. I mean I always thought that was the beauty of a cash business. When I go out I always tip in cash. I know that you have to manage employees carefully with a cash business but that is not impossible if you know how to count. So it is critical to know what you are ordering and what is going out…..that is true. Now that I think about it my wife worked at Windows of the World as a waitress at the WTC for a while 50 years ago and she would come home with an apron full of cash at like 2 AM every night. And she took the subway home back then. We lived on it and paid Ivy League tuition as well. That was 50 years ago as well. I realize times have changed. No way could I pay my kid’s Ivy League tuitions working in a bar but back then both of us had no problem with tuition and expenses in New York. We did not have much left but we got our degrees. What am I missing here? Can an NCer clarify?

    1. Louis Fyne

      practically, cash businesses work best when the owner is involved day-to-day, just as in your example.

      Many “small businesses” moreso than in the past are either turnkey businesses with absentee owners, or part of a larger portfolio of small businesses.

      In such cases there already is a back office handling the finances and for the back office the marginal cost of dealing with Visa-Mastercard is much easier to deal with than cash—even after consider the swipe fees.

      IMO. ymmv.

      1. skippy

        Thank you McKinsey & Company fee structure for the executive win …. and lmmao that some think their fighting bank or some notion of what money is … circular firing squad dynamics …

    2. PKMKII

      The big credit card companies (meaning Visa, Mastercard. Discover, etc) offer lucrative incentives to businesses that go cashless. Their interests are obvious; if the whole world goes cashless, their businesses go from an optional system to requisite, and everyone loves that sweet, sweet rentier money.

    3. drumlin woodchuckles

      Well, if there is more robbery, including violent robbery, nowadays; people might be afraid to have cash around attracting the robbers.

      I suppose one could have a special drawer with some decoy cash in it, infused with ricin for the robbers to take home and fondle.

  8. McWatt

    Someone wants 2.75% of every transaction on the planet, including transactions that use to take place person to person. The war on cash is purposeful. Just like now that the post office has been destroyed, suddenly I am getting daily emails from credit card companies asking me to sign up for automatic payments.

    I am not getting emails from the mega companies that say “We support always having the Post Office” or “we are fighting for you for your Post Office”. No, they want automatic email debt payments so that you can feel “secure” that your payment will “never be late”. Which ultimately means any time they are feeling unsecure they can directly take money right out of your account.

    The “Cash Back” programs are part of the war on cash. Once the war is won, these programs will disappear.

    It’s a distopian future that awaits our children and grandchildren. They are marching in to it thinking “I am saving the planet by not using paper” but in reality it’s a step in the wrong direction.

    1. James Simpson

      Do remember the insecurity that cash always brought with it. Without cash, there is less for robbers to take violently. And cashless businesses don’t have to manually count it before carrying it to the bank. Despite the downsides, I generally welcome a cashless society.

      1. .human

        I’d rather have a robbers’ hands in my pocket for a few tens of dollars than a robber barrens’ hands in my bank account for a few thousands.

      2. drumlin woodchuckles

        Maybe the supporters of the Cashless Society should go found their own country of Cashlesstan. Then they can be as cashless as they want.

        Their arrogance in seeking to impose their Cashless Society on the rest of us and our countries is irritating and annoying.

  9. Australia Appleman

    the highly unpopular incumbent government in australia has announced plans for a ‘digital identity’ bill which is coming up to discussion in the parliament soon. Basically using government issued digital id to record everything about you, used for everything you might ever need to do. And also, apparently, it’s ‘safe and secure, and private’. Wow, they said it so it must be true! the premier of NSW, the largest state ( Sydney is the capital) also announced a virtual currency to displace cash, and all major retailers would only be allowed to use it, and things like bills could only be paid with it, and welfare would be paid only in this form. They actually quoted China in the announcement, about how useful and successful that system is over there. And, how cash is just so, so dangerous for transmitting you know what. Not that I’ve come across a single study on that, and DHL Courier tells you when you’re put on hold, that the WHO acknowledges there is no proof of this either. Anyway we do have the Bills of Exchange Act 1909 based on the UK version. It’s the principal Act in the Commonwealth. It refers to cash as currency quite a lot. The Commonwealth Constitution ( the original, real one, not the one with the Queen of Australia invented in 1973) is the second most principal Act and it also expressly states cash is legal tender and must be accepted. So, as usual the government is breaking laws

    1. flora

      Sounds like this digital id scheme Thales and others have been working toward for several years. (Don’t believe the ‘safe and secure’ marketing hype. hacking? tracking? etc.)


      That idea is trying to get a foothold in the US with digital drivers licenses, starting in a few states.

      Here’s Utah’s announcement:

      Why does Australia (and other countries) want everyone to have essentially a personal QR code tying all personal info about them together in one place? Efficiency? For whom or for what?

      See the ID2020 project:

      Oh look, it’s a project funded/sponsored by Mastercard, Accenture, and GAVI – a Gates funded creation. Profit motive?

  10. James Simpson

    Over here in the UK I often avoid businesses that don’t accept debit cards and are cash only as I presume they are trying not to pay tax on earnings. Also, I enjoy the simplicity of shopping by contactless debit card. As for those “checks” which we here called ‘cheques’, they disappeared a very long time ago. Catch up, America.

    1. cwalsh

      Biden’s nominee Omarova is on it:
      (1) Moving all commercial bank deposits from commercial banks to so-called FedAccounts at the Federal Reserve;

      (2) Allowing the Fed, in “extreme and rare circumstances, when the Fed is unable to control inflation by raising interest rates,” to confiscate deposits from these FedAccounts in order to tighten monetary policy;

      (3) Allowing the most Wall Street-conflicted regional Fed bank in the country, the New York Fed, when there are “rises in market value at rates suggestive of a bubble trend,” such as with technology stocks today, to “short these securities, thereby putting downward pressure on their prices”;

      (4) Eliminate the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) that insures bank deposits;

      (5) Consolidate all bank regulatory functions at the OCC – which Omarova has been nominated to head.

      She will make sure we are all cashless.

    2. drumlin woodchuckles

      Catch up to who? To you? After 10 years of Brexit, lets see if there is even a “Britain” left to “catch up to”.

  11. drsteve0

    Catch up to the UK, seriously? I’ve lived there and some of the wife’s family still does. Your dystopia seems to be unfolding even quicker than ours.

  12. elissa3

    About 12 years ago I took my 260K+ miles Saab to a local junkyard. They put it on a platform scale to get its total weight. In the office, a couple of guys with calculators pay you in cold, hard cash. Two other employees, behind the counter, deal with paperwork or such. Each has an impressive-looking firearm strapped to their hip. I wondered at the response if I had asked for a check. . .

  13. T_Reg

    Walmart is doing soft enforcement of cashless payment. 1) the lines at the registers are ridiculously slow. Then, when you make it up there, you can be told that cash isn’t allowed “at this register”. No notice in advance. 2) the slowness of the lines encourages people to use self-checkout. Sometimes there’s a spot that accepts cash, but that’s becoming increasingly rare. So they can claim that, sure, they accept cash – except when they don’t.

  14. Jack Tocco

    The primary justification that I have heard and seen from businesses in NYC who continue to refuse cash despite the ban is the health and safety of employees in the context of COVID-19. The justification is epidemiologically bunk, since COVID-19 is understood to be overwhelmingly transmitted via aerosolized viral particles and rarely through contaminated surfaces. Even if surface contamination were a valid concern, there would be no reason to presume that passing cash poses any greater risk than passing a plastic card. Moreover, the “contactless payment” of Apple Pay and the like are not actually contactless, insofar as touching a screen to enter a tip and sign one’s signature is typically required.

    I laud the New York City Council for passing the cashless ban and applaud the city’s decision to actually begin to enforce the ban by issuing substantial fines for violations. Banning cash has scant public health justification, but it certainly produces classist discrimination. Insofar as citizen reporting appears to be a primary catalyst for issuing violations, I would like to know the most effective way to report violations.

Comments are closed.