SAN FRANCISCO (三藩市) has enacted legislation to require brick-and-mortar retailers to take cash as payment.
The city is joining Philadelphia (費城) and New Jersey (新澤西) in banning a growing paperless practice that critics say discriminates against lowincome people who may not have
access to credit cards.
Vallie Brown, a lawmaker, said the new law “will go far in ensuring all San Franciscans have equitable access to the city’s economy”.
Highly-paid tech workers who flock to San Francisco to work for Facebook, Google, Uber and Airbnb may like the ease of paying by credit card, debit card or smartphone, but many
low-income people, including more than 4,000 who sleep on San Francisco’s streets every night, likely do not have the money to sustain bank accounts.
Some people also prefer to use cash because they do not want to leave a digital trail of where they have been and what they have bought.
The new law requires brick-and-mortar businesses to accept cash for goods and some services. Temporary pop-up stores and internet-only businesses such as ride-hailing companies
would be exempt.
The effort to ban the card-only practice came after last year’s rollout of cashless Amazon Go stores. The retail giant subsequently bowed to pressure and agreed to accept cash
at many of these stores.
(This article is published on Junior Standard on 16 May 2019)
Amazon opens first Go store that accepts cash
Legal tender – Hong Kong