Bans on Cashless Retail Establishments – Update

A Co-Sponsor Memo has been filed in the Pennsylvania legislature, announcing their intent to introduce a bill that would require acceptance of cash for in-person retail transactions.

In releasing this measure, the sponsor stated, "This is similar to legislation enacted in Philadelphia as well as New Jersey in 2019 that requires most retail establishments to accept cash. Several other states and cities have also adopted similar laws since. This legislation will apply to brick-and-mortar businesses, and we intend our bill to be consumer friendly. Pennsylvanians have expressed frustration about not being able to utilize cash or coins when engaging in retail transactions. Prohibiting cash payments is unfair and arguably discriminatory to consumers who do not possess a debit or credit card, or other means of payment.

Requiring a credit card or cashless payment option only disenfranchises consumers and could hurt those of a lower-income status, young consumers that do not have access to a bank account or a line of credit, or senior citizens that rely on cash. It is not our intention to adversely impact small businesses, or curb the use of new technology impacting the manner in which we pay for goods and services. Rather, we want consumers to be able to choose whichever method is preferable to them to pay for goods and services."