The State of New Jersey prohibits this week the "discrimination against customers who pay in cash", forcing stores and restaurants to accept payment with physical currency from this week, against the trend "cashless" (without cash).
According to local media, the state Governor, Phil Murphy, signed the law and made New Jersey the second state in the country that encourages physical stores to accept this form of payment, after Massachusetts, which approved it in 1978
According to the promoters of the law, businesses that prevent payment with tickets encourage discrimination for anyone lacking access to a bank or credit cards.
"Many people do not have access to consumer credit and any effort by retail stores to prohibit the use of cash is discriminatory," State Assembly Member of the Assembly, Democrat Paul Moriarty, said in a statement.
According to a survey by the Federal Corporation of Deposit Insurers, 6.5% of households did not have a bank account in 2017, a higher percentage in the case of black (16.9%) and Latino (14%) populations. ).
The prohibition applies only to physical sales, in person, so sellers can demand that transactions be made only by card for web orders, by mail or phone.
There are some businesses that are excluded, such as car rental services, car parks or some airport stores.
The legislation has not been exempt from criticism, as some businessmen claimed that "represses innovation."
"The signing of this law takes away from business owners the right to freely determine how they want to receive payment for their products and services." The preference of a business without cash is sometimes based on efficiency and, in some cases, as a measure security, "said the New Jersey Business and Industry Association.
Failure to comply with this legislation, approved by an overwhelming majority in the New Jersey Legislature, will result in fines of $ 2,500 for the first offense, $ 5,000 for the second and the following will face offenses of unfair practices, according to the state law of Fraud. Consumer.