City Councilman Bill Greenlee commented the new law in an interview with the New York Times as follows:
“It just seemed to me unfair that I could walk into a coffee shop right across from City Hall, and I had a credit card and could get a cup of coffee. And the person behind me, who had United States currency, could not”.
According to the city spokesperson one of the driving factors to implement the law was to provide cash payments to everyone, also to consumers not having access to bank accounts. Already in 1984 the Pennsylvanian state enacted a law to protect customers without credit cards.
It will be the first major US city regulating by law to provide cash payments inside retail locations. Violators of the law will have to face fines up to $2,000.
Cities of San Francisco, New York, Chicago and Washington and the State of New Jersey are considering similar laws.
In New Jersey a respective bill already passed both chambers of the legislature.
The law does exempt some businesses from the cash requirement: Wholesale clubs, retailers that accept mobile payments through membership programs, parking lots and garages as well as rental companies requiring security deposits.