New York City the Latest To Ban “Card-Only” Businesses

By Melina Wisecup

New York City council members voted in favor of a bill Thursday that will prohibit businesses from only accepting credit cards for payment. Bill sponsor, Ritchie Torress is concerned that not giving customers the option to pay with cash is discriminatory against those who aren’t able to get credit.

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A sign is shown inside of a card-only establishment in Manhattan, New York City on Jan. 24, 2020. (Christian Watjen/NTD)

On the other hand, some are thinking about what the ban will mean for the business owners. One argument against the ban is that merchants who currently don’t handle cash have decided for deliberate reasons such as minimizing employee theft or protecting the business from robbery.

Data engineer Tory Ragsdale, told NTD, “Merchants who are currently cashless and now are being forced to have to handle cash and manage a till. It’s just creating other monitoring needs and other management needs and other issues for merchants to now have to evolve.”

Councilmember, Kalman Yeger, who is against the bill, is concerned about giving businesses the freedom to operate how they’d like. He says the bill, in his words, is “overreaching.”

Philadelphia was first to ban cashless stores in March last year. New Jersey and San Francisco followed the trend shortly afterward.

Mulberry and Vine are one of the businesses that have a card only payment policy, and consumers have mixed opinions on their business model.

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A sign on the door of a business that only accepts credit cards for payment in Manhattan, New York City on Jan. 24, 2020. (Christian Watjen/NTD)

Aside from the argument that not accepting cash is discriminatory, some even find cashless stores to be cumbersome. One waitress, Carolyn Diana, said, “I would like it more if places that didn’t accept cash, started accepting cash because it is hard working a job with only cash tips and I can’t use them in certain restaurants.”

Mayor Bill de Blasio’s spokesperson told the New York Times he is supportive of the bill’s intent, but his administration still plans to review it before signing into law. Now, other cities like Washington and Chicago are considering this ban.