San Francisco’s Board of Supervisors has unanimously passed a bill that will effectively ban cashless retail. The new law, which passed on May 7, requires all brick and mortar retailers to accept cash. The move, according to local politicians, is aimed at ensuring that the city’s poorest (i.e. those without credit or debit cards) aren’t prohibited from everyday transactions. Why is our trade interested in this issue? In one simple word… ATMs.
However, the law does include few exceptions. For instance, temporary and non-stationary retailers, such as food trucks and pop-up stores, can still go cashless. And purchases for more than $5,000 can also require non-cash payments, while retailers can refuse to accept large denomination bills. However, for the vast majority of everyday purchases, cash remains an option. Violations of the new regulation could result in a fine up to a $100, though multiple violations increase the fine to $1,000.
In passing the cashless ban, tech-centric San Francisco joins a growing list of cities and states that have contemplated or already instituted similar measures. These include Philadelphia, New York City, New Jersey and Massachusetts.
A full copy of the new law can be found here.