Civic News

City Council mulls a ban on cashless stores

Philly's legislators could vote as early as Feb. 14 on the resolution, the Inquirer reports.


(Photo by Flickr user zack Mccarthy, used under a Creative Commons license)

Philadelphia City Council is considering an amendment to the city’s code that would ban stores from going fully cashless in lieu of other payment methods.

The Philadelphia Inquirer reports that Council’s Law and Government Committee approved the bill on Tuesday after a hearing, and could bring it for a vote as early as Feb. 14.

The proposed amendment, put forth by Councilman Bill Greenle, would modify Chapter 9-1100 of The Philadelphia Code, entitled “Fair Practices Ordinance: Protections Against Unlawful Discrimination,” to add a section that prohibits retail stores from refusing to accept cash as a form of payment or charging cash-paying customers a higher price.

Refusal to comply with the ordinance comes at a price: Stores could be fined up to $2,000.

Here’s more from the Inquirer report:

Proponents of the bill argue that cashless stores effectively discriminate against poor consumers who do not have access to credit or bank accounts, especially in a city with one of the highest poverty levels in the country. Nearly 6 percent of the Philadelphia region was unbanked in 2017 and roughly 22 percent was considered “underbanked,” according to the Federal Insurance Deposit Corporation.

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