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The Cashless Retailers Prohibition Act of 2018

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Interesting.

“A retailer shall not:
(a) Discriminate against cash as a form of payment for services purchased on the licensed premises;
(b) Post signs on the licensed premises that cash payment is not accepted;
(c) Charge different prices to customers depending on their payment method."

article in PoPville

The Guardian

DC Councilmember David Grosso

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48 minutes ago, porcupine said:

Interesting.

“A retailer shall not:
(a) Discriminate against cash as a form of payment for services purchased on the licensed premises;
(b) Post signs on the licensed premises that cash payment is not accepted;
(c) Charge different prices to customers depending on their payment method."

article in PoPville

The Guardian

DC Councilmember David Grosso

Cashless payments are the future of the world - we'd better get used to the *opposite* of this law.

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There are serious equity and privacy issues with going to a cashless society, but by and large the world is moving this way quickly.  Worth reading how countries as different as India and Sweden are pushing this move as well.  On the other side of equity, is it fair to force an establishment to accept cash?  Small amounts of cash create the same fixed costs of getting it to the bank as large amounts.  All that gets translated into the price of your food or sweater.  Why can't they choose to lose your revenue if you can't pay with a card?

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I agree.  It is discriminatory.  It discriminated against those with little income, no resources and no bank account.

Almost 20 years of being hands on at our Arlington bar school and dealing with these issues at other schools in other cities makes this point clear.  

I suspect here are very few with horrifically limited resources on this website.  Frankly before getting closer to these schools it never hit me.

There is a significant population in our cities (and elsewhere) with very few resources.  I see it every week.  I’ve seen it for eighteen years.  It hasn’t vanished.   It’s not going away.  I don’t see it shrinking.  Current policies could grow this population versus shrink it.   

Eliminate buying options that accommodate cash and they can’t make transactions.  

Btw as a business we have no problems making cash deposits.  We are not going to save squat in eliminating bank visits as some argue.  It’s not close.  If we suffered robberies that equation could change.   CC and other financial fees are expensive.  All fees are expensive come to think of it.  

There are of course restaurants that are cash only.  They eliminate the expensive CC fees.  Good for them.   Good for you too.  More money for fresher ingredients and less $$ for Visa, MC, Amex, and CityBank.  

On an anecdotal notice I think I saw a sign outside of a local restaurant offering discounts for cash only.   I thought that was ruled illegal. (a business friendly, city bank friendly rule if there ever was one)

I think the City Council is doing the trump ugh trump thing on this ruling

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42 minutes ago, DaveO said:

There are of course restaurants that are cash only.  They eliminate the expensive CC fees.  Good for them.   Good for you too.  More money for fresher ingredients and less $$ for Visa, MC, Amex, and CityBank.  

And the IRS.

I'm all for the Ted Kaczynski-cabin thing, but it doesn't matter what I think: Governments (ours in particular) want to look like they're stamping out the Pablo Escobars of the world, and the wealthy will always be able to create complicated transactions to avoid taxes, so whether we like it or not, we're heading towards a cashless world, if for no other reason, than "to stop the drug lords." If I recall, we already have laws in place to report cash deposits of $10,000 or more.

I'm not sure what the "trump ugh trump thing" is, but my initial impression (which may be diametrically wrong) is that forcing businesses to take cash seems like the opposite of that.

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So sayeth the Resource Center at the U.S. Department of the Treasury with respect to legal tender status:

Quote

I thought that United States currency was legal tender for all debts. Some businesses or governmental agencies say that they will only accept checks, money orders or credit cards as payment, and others will only accept currency notes in denominations of $20 or smaller. Isn't this illegal?

The pertinent portion of law that applies to your question is the Coinage Act of 1965, specifically Section 31 U.S.C. 5103, entitled "Legal tender," which states: "United States coins and currency (including Federal reserve notes and circulating notes of Federal reserve banks and national banks) are legal tender for all debts, public charges, taxes, and dues."

This statute means that all United States money as identified above are a valid and legal offer of payment for debts when tendered to a creditor. There is, however, no Federal statute mandating that a private business, a person or an organization must accept currency or coins as for payment for goods and/or services. Private businesses are free to develop their own policies on whether or not to accept cash unless there is a State law which says otherwise. For example, a bus line may prohibit payment of fares in pennies or dollar bills. In addition, movie theaters, convenience stores and gas stations may refuse to accept large denomination currency (usually notes above $20) as a matter of policy.

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While I agree that currently cashless payments tend to be discriminatory currently.  I also having recently seen how WeChat in China works, would tend to think that this is changing.  I didn't see a single person in China- whether it be a villager selling sugar cane in a tiny remote village on the border of Myanmar, or a taxi driver in Chengdu, or a random person/street vendor anywhere in between that didn't take WeChat.  It does raise scary privacy concerns, but I would say that day and age is soon upon us. Of course, they still took cash in most places, but not all, some vendors only took WeChat, I had to get friends to make payments for me and pay them. 

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I'm against any kind of policy a business has in place where you cannot equitably pay the way you want to pay: gas stations charging more for credit, businesses requiring $5/10 minimums on credit card purchases, cash only businesses, etc. And even though I pretty much only pay credit/debit and rarely carry cash, I don't think this is the right way to go for the reasons already outlined.

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I don't mean to single this business out, because I'm delighted with it - have been twice this year, and would happily go a third time - this place in Baltimore offers, I can't remember which, a small up-charge for credit cards, or a slight discount for cash (it was made perfectly clear to us, so no surprises). PS - if you go, get one "Traditional," and one "Crab Pie" - don't say anything, just do it.

tomato.jpgcrab.jpg

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5 hours ago, DaveO said:

On an anecdotal notice I think I saw a sign outside of a local restaurant offering discounts for cash only.   I thought that was ruled illegal. (a business friendly, city bank friendly rule if there ever was one)

Mastercard & Visa agreed to allow it in a settlement.  Then that settlement was overturned (in part because small businesses opposed it).  The courts say AmEx can prohibit it.  Where this ends is anyone's guess.

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