Ritual Coffee doesn’t observe an outright ban (people can pay with cash if that’s all they have, Rinaldi said) but the emphasis on cashless payments is made clear with notices plastered on the shop’s wall and on its website asking customers to use Apple Pay or a credit or debit card.
And digital payment companies like Paypal or Visa simply want to profit from money transactions and collect as much financial data about consumers as they can.But as our financial behavior becomes more and more transparent, states are also using payment data to find out more about us.
Before this year there was only one jurisdiction that required businesses to accept cash: Massachusetts, which passed a law nearly 40 years ago.“The potential societal cost of a cashless economy I think outweighs the potential benefits for businesses,” said Ritchie Torres, a New York City councilman for the South Bronx who introduced the bill.
Murphy's signature makes New Jersey the second state in the US to ban cashless stores, after Massachusetts banned them in 1978. Much like Philadelphia's new law, New Jersey's law makes an exception for parking garages and car rental companies, where a credit card is required upfront for incidentals.
Torres tells Grub Street he is optimistic New York’s progressive city council will pass his legislation, but he expects local businesses will “mobilize to oppose the bill.” For anyone who sees the impending fight through an apathetic lens, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reporter and critic, and former Eater NY editor, Melissa McCart made a salient point in her report on the topic earlier this year: “[I]n an era when an increasing number of restaurants no longer accept legal tender, it’s useful to think about who this system benefits most: the businesses and banks, at the expense of consumers.” Do businesses and banks really need more power?