San Francisco joins Philadelphia and New Jersey in banning the practice of not accepting cash.
San Francisco officials voted Tuesday to require brick-and-mortar retailers to take cash as payment, joining Philadelphia and New Jersey in banning a growing paperless practice that critics say discriminates against low-income people who may not have access to credit cards. The vote by the Board of Supervisors was unanimous.
According to the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, 17 percent of African American households and 15 percent of Latino households have no bank account. Some people also prefer to use cash because they don’t want to leave a digital trail of where they have been and what they have bought.
San Francisco’s legislation 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, as would food trucks, which say they lack the resources to handle cash.
Philadelphia and New Jersey passed similar laws this year. Legislation requiring merchants to accept cash also has been introduced in New York City.
Fast growing salad chain Sweetgreen was a big proponent of cashless store. Last month it announced that it will accept cash at all its restaurants by year’s end, saying going cashless “had the unintended consequence of excluding those who prefer to pay or can only pay with cash.”
This just shows while there may be "no such thing as a dumb question" as the saying goes, there are plenty of dumb ideas.