PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Philadelphia is making history as the first major U.S. city to ban cashless stores. The new law forbids stores to only accept credit or debit cards.
The bill was supposed to go into effect earlier this summer but was delayed until Oct. 1 to make sure businesses are in compliance with the law. Mayor Jim Kenney first signed off on the bill back in February.
The bill prevents most retail locations from refusing to take cash. It does not include parking garages, internet transactions and wholesale clubs that operate on a membership model.
The law also prevents them from charging people who use cash a higher price than those who use cards.
Sweetgreen and Bluestone Lane are just two examples of Philadelphia businesses that had cashless policies.
Some business owners who have gone cashless say that it increases safety and reduces theft because cashiers aren’t handling bills.
“If it cuts down on crime and theft and all of that… so I can see their side of it too. So, there are two sides of it too,” resident Marcus Pollard said.
But some argue the practice is discriminatory.
“I think it’s unfair cause half of Philadelphia’s population is low income. It’s not a lot of money here, it looks like it but a lot of people are struggling,” resident Pamela Holman said. “I think you should always be able to use cash because half the companies won’t allow you to get a credit card.”
Businesses who don’t accept cash would have to pay fines of up to $2,000.