New York prohibits establishments declining cash payments

The New York City Council has prohibited food and retail establishments from refusing to accept payments in cash.

Council members voted in favour of a bill which requires food and retail establishments to accept cash payments from customers. Furthermore, these establishments cannot charge cash-paying customers a higher price for those using credit.

These new rules will not apply when then food or retail establishment has a machine which converts cash into a prepaid card that can be used to make unlimited purchases.

The bill also states a merchant does not have to accept bills in denominations of greater than $20 and transactions conducted via phone, online or through mail are excluded.

If a retailer is found to refuse cash payments, there is a $1,000 penalty for a first offence and a $1,500 fine for following incidents.

Council Member Ritchie J. Torres said, “No longer in NYC will brick-and-mortar businesses have the right to refuse cash and effectively discriminate against customers who lack access to credit and debit. The City of New York cannot allow the digital economy to leave behind the 25 percent of New Yorkers who are chronically unbanked and underbanked. The marketplace of the future must accommodate the needs of vulnerable New Yorkers.”

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