Senate bill would penalize retailers for not accepting cash

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Senate bill would penalize retailers for not accepting cash

By Marianne Wilson - 07/02/2020

It’s a rare bill these days that is introduced by senators from both parties.

But that is exactly the case with the Payment Choice Act, which was introduced by Sens. Bob Menendez, D-N.J., and Kevin Cramer, R-N.D. The bill, which would prohibit retailers from declining cash payments from their customers, comes as many chains are ramping up their contactless payment options amid the COVID-19 pandemic. 

The Payment Choice Act targets businesses that refuse to accept cash as payment, post signs stating that cash will not be accepted or charge a higher price for cash over other forms of payment. It proposes a maximum fine of $2,500 for the first offense and $5,000 for the second, reported CNBC.

“While I fully understand that businesses have expanded their contactless payment options during the pandemic, refusing cash discriminates against certain populations and denies people equal access to the same goods or services,” said Menendez in a statement, reported CNBC.

Several cities and local municipalities already have bans that prohibit retailers from not accepting cash, including Philadelphia and New York City.