Philadelphia City Council Bans Cashless Stores

An Amazon Go store which does not accept cash

An Amazon Go store which does not accept cash

According to a Fortune report, published March 7, 2019, Philadelphia is poised to become the first major USA city to ban and penalize stores and restaurants that do not accept cash as a means of payment.

There are exemptions to the statue, with parking lots, garages, and businesses who sell goods through a membership model - such as gyms - able to continue operations as normal.

Retailers who've adopted the practice may argue that eradicating cash makes for more convenient shopping, but many believe the policy actually discriminates against those without bank accounts or credit cards.

Philadelphia is the first major USA city to ban cashless stores, placing it at the forefront of a debate that pits retail innovation against lawmakers trying to protect all citizens' access to the marketplace. MA has long had a prohibition on its books against establishments refusing to accept cash.

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Almost 6 percent of residents in the Philadelphia region do not have access to credit or bank accounts in 2017 and roughly 22 percent were considered "underbanked", according to the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation. The e-commerce giant has already opened shop in Seattle, San Francisco and Chicago, and another location is expected to come to New York City. None of Amazon's stores accept cash unless required by law. The company reportedly plans to open up to 3,000 of these stores throughout the US over the next few years.

Similar legislation has moved through the New York City Council, NBC 4 reported last month.

This comes as cashless stores have been on the rise. You don't need a paid Prime membership to shop at Amazon's Go stores - only an Amazon account - eliminating the potential for a loophole.

Although the debate is still ongoing with the terms on the new law, one major company found this as an unfair process since their business were all out cashless and queue-less.

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