InDaily

Adelaide's independent news

Support

San Francisco bans cashless stores

News

Officials in the US city of San Francisco have voted 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.

 

Print article

The vote by the Board of Supervisors was unanimous, with Vallie Brown, who introduced the legislation, saying it “will go far in ensuring all San Franciscans have equitable access to the city’s economy”.

Brown said she thought it unfair that someone couldn’t buy a sandwich just because they had cash.

Young people, victims of ID theft, immigrants and homeless people are among those who don’t have bank accounts or credit cards, she said.

In many ways, the legislation was an easy call for San Francisco officials, who strive to make life more equitable in a city with an enormous wealth gap.

High-paid tech workers who flocked to San Francisco to work for Facebook, Google, Uber and Airbnb may like the ease of paying by credit card, debit card or smartphone.

But many low-income people, including more than 4000 who sleep on San Francisco’s streets every night, likely don’t have money to sustain bank accounts.

According to the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, 17 per cent of African American households and 15 per cent of Latino households had 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.

Philadelphia and New Jersey passed similar laws this year. Legislation requiring merchants to accept cash also has been introduced in New York City.

The efforts come after the rollout last year of cashless Amazon Go stores, which require customers to scan an app to enter . Whatever items customers take are automatically tallied in a virtual cart and charged to a credit card.

The retail giant bowed to pressure last month and agreed to accept cash at more than 30 cashless stores.

Amazon opened its first cash-accepting store Tuesday in a high-end New York City shopping mall frequented by office workers.

Anyone who wants to pay with cash will be swiped through the turnstile entrance by employees.

After shoppers grab what they want, an employee will scan the items with a mobile device, take the cash and give customers their change.

-AAP

Want to comment?

Send us an email, making it clear which story you’re commenting on and including your full name (required for publication) and phone number (only for verification purposes). Please put “Reader views” in the subject.

We’ll publish the best comments in a regular “Reader Views” post. Your comments can be brief, or we can accept up to 350 words, or thereabouts.

InDaily has changed the way we receive comments. Go here for an explanation.

We value local independent journalism. We hope you do too.

InDaily provides valuable, local independent journalism in South Australia. As a news organisation it offers an alternative to The Advertiser, a different voice and a closer look at what is happening in our city and state for free. Any contribution to help fund our work is appreciated. Please click below to become an InDaily supporter.

Powered by PressPatron

More News stories

Loading next article

Subscribe to InDaily – it’s free!

South Australia’s locally owned, independent source of digital news.

Subscribe now and go in the monthly draw* for your chance to WIN a $100 voucher!

Subscribe free here

*Terms and conditions apply

Welcome back!

Did you know it’s FREE to subscribe?

Subscribe now and go in the monthly draw* for your chance to WIN a $100 voucher!

Subscribe

*Terms and conditions apply