Several states and municipalities are requiring brick-and-mortar retail locations to accept cash from customers.

By Todd Beauchamp, Loyal T. Horsley, and Charles Weinstein

On May 7, the San Francisco Board of Supervisors voted unanimously to require all brick-and-mortar stores in the city to accept cash from customers. The Board reasoned that the trending practice of retail establishments and fast-casual restaurants going cashless discriminates against low-income individuals, predominantly minorities, who may not have access to credit or bank accounts. Specifically, the Board found that “[f]or many [San Francisco] residents (for example, those who are denied access to credit, or who are unable to obtain bank accounts), the ability to purchase goods and services depends on the ability to pay for those goods and services in cash. This is especially true of the very poor.” San Francisco follows Philadelphia and New Jersey in passing laws banning cashless brick-and-mortar retailers.