A new law passed by the NYC City Council on Thursday, January 23rd, forces businesses to accept cash.
It has become increasingly more common for city businesses to accept credit cards only. The Mayor has 30 days to sign the bill, and if he doesn't sign, it will become law after another 30 days.
Introduced by Council Member Ritchie J. Torres, the new bill would stop discrimination against customers who lack access to credit.
“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," Torres said. "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.”
The bill includes some exceptions. Food and retail establishments do not have to accept bills greater than $20, and transactions that are completely online, by phone or mail are not affected.
If a business refuses to accept cash, under the law, it could face up to a $1,000 fine for the first violation and $1,500 every time after that.
NYC will be joining New Jersey and Philadelphia, each of which banned cashless establishments last year.
The law won't officially go into effect until November 2020.