A new proposed law in Delaware would make it illegal for businesses to only accept cash, according to a report by the Associated Press.
A bill was introduced on Tuesday (March 10) that would prohibit businesses from refusing to take cash during an in-store transaction.
David McBride, the Senate president, said it is unfair to only accept debit, credit or other forms of electronic payment, because there are many people who don’t have bank accounts and don’t have access to credit. The legislators also pointed out that there is no current law forcing businesses to accept cash.
Other states and cities have passed similar laws, including New Jersey, Massachusetts, New York City and Philadelphia. The Massachusetts law was passed almost four decades ago. New Jersey passed its cashless ban law in February of last year.
If the new Delaware bill is made into law, offenders could face up to $10,000 per violation.
“Many people do not have access to consumer credit, and any effort by retail establishments to ban the use of cash would be discriminatory toward those people,” said Rep. Paul D. Moriarty, D-Camden/Gloucester and one of the bill’s main sponsors, according to Chain Store Age. “The U.S. dollar is legal tender and should be accepted at any retail establishment in New Jersey.”
Not all companies are happy with the decision. Danny Meyer, who owns Union Square Hospitality Group, spoke out against the measure. He said he wasn’t trying to be exclusionary, and wanted to test going cashless to improve safety and efficiency.
“We know that some have raised concerns about the socioeconomic implications of operating a cashless business,” Meyer said in a blog post. “By not accepting cash, a restaurant may be excluding prospective guests who do not have a bank account. And we might be inconveniencing guests who simply don’t have their credit/debit on them at the time. That’s certainly not our aim.”