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New Jersey governor bans cashless stores

Categories : Cash is a public good, Cash is the first step of financial inclusion
March 26, 2019
Tags : Consumers, Financial inclusion, Unbanked
The governor of New Jersey signed a legislation banning cashless stores, making it the second US state to prohibit retailers from refusing to accept cash.
Communication Team / Equipo de Comunicación

This post is also available in: Spanish

The debate surrounding cashless businesses continues to garner a lot of attention in the US – both by consumers and government officials. New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy signed a legislation last 18 March banning stores in the state from operating cashless. The NJ A591 bill, first introduced in 2017, follows that of Philadelphia, which also banned cashless stores last month.

“This idea of ‘we don’t want to accept cash’ just marginalizes the poor, young people who haven’t established credit yet and people who prefer to pay in cash,” Assemblyman Paul Moriarty, a Democrat and primary sponsor of the bill, said in his statement to WNYC.

Needless to say, the newly established law also faces its fair share of harsh criticism. Members of the business community disagrees with the parameters it entails and finds that it restricts efficiency and security. “The signing removes a local business owner’s right to freely determine how they would like to receive payment for their products and services”, says Michael Wallace, Vice President of Government Affairs for the New Jersey Business and Industry Association.

Opposing opinions won’t stop the law from taking effect immediately as future violators will be imposed a fine of up to $2,500 for the first offense and up to $5,000 for a second offense, NBC reports. There are, however, a few exceptions to the law – among them pertaining to certain sectors such as parking facilities, car rentals and airport vendors.

New Jersey is the second state in the US to ban cashless stores, following Massachusetts which enacted the ban in 1978.

This post is also available in: Spanish