Cashless stores to be banned in 2nd US state despite Amazon opposition

// New Jersey has passed a bill which will ban stores refusing to accept cash
// Legislators believe cashless stores discriminate against those who do not have a banks account
// Major retailers including Amazon and Walmart have opposed the bill

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A second American state has moved closer to banning cashless retail stores, despite a huge push back from Amazon and Walmart.

Legislators in New Jersey have passed a bill which stands to ban any businesses from refusing to accept cash, and it now only needs the signature of a state governor to become law.

The bill, which was first put forward in September last year, would see violators receive a civil fine of up to $2500 for its first offence and $5000 for the second, any further offences would then be deemed as criminal.

An increasing number of retailers are favouring cashless payments due to the increased efficiency and safety of transactions, meaning there is less chance of being robbed due to holding no physical cash.

However, lawmakers argue that cashless stores discriminate against socioeconomic classes that do not have access to bank accounts and seniors who only use cash.

When the bill was first announced, major retailers like Amazon and Walmart expressed their opposition to the bill, temporarily delaying it.

In the US, cash payments are still the preferred method of payment representing 31 per cent of all transactions.

This compares to the UK where cards were used for three out of every four transactions, and cash was used for just 22 per cent.

Cash circulation in the US has also risen at five per cent every year for the last two decades, while last year in the UK cash circulation dropped.

“Many people do not have access to consumer credit, and any effort by retail establishments to ban the use of cash would be discriminatory towards those people,” Rep. Paul D. Moriarty said.

“The U.S. dollar is legal tender and should be accepted at any retail establishment in New Jersey.”

Massachusetts enacted a law banning cashless stores 40 years ago, meaning New Jersey would be the second in the country to enforce such a law.

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