As expected, on January 23rd, the NYC Council passed a law requiring businesses to accept cash when selling a product, such as food at a restaurant. The law is intended to stop the trend of businesses going
The operators of cashless businesses say the no-cash policy creates operating efficiencies and is safer. Opponents of the policy say that the cashless business model discriminates against the nearly one-million adult, unbanked New Yorkers who do not have a credit or debit card and thus are unable to easily shop at these businesses.
The NYC Hospitality Alliance explained this issue in a Forbes op-ed back in 2018:
The legislation was amended to include a provision allowing businesses to install pre-paid card machines that accept cash as a way to try and accommodate. This provision may be helpful to some restaurants, food halls, and other businesses.
The legislation is on its way to Mayor de Blasio's desk for his signature. This new mandate will take effect 270 days after it's signed into law, which is expected.
Businesses that violate this law will face penalties of $1,000 for the first violation and $1,500 thereafter. Click here to read the legislation.
The NYC Hospitality Alliance issued the following statement, which was covered widely in the press:
"We understand the positive intent of the legislation, and while only a small percentage of restaurants have gone cashless for the operational and safety benefits, this ban will pose challenges to those businesses that will have to begin accepting cash. Regardless of the cashless ban, our elected leaders need to support polices that get more New Yorkers banked, because technology is advancing and mobile payments are the way of the future."