Physical cash is quickly becoming a thing of the past, and it’s just a matter of time before a majority of businesses give up on the archaic payment system. Looking to extend its life a little longer, Philadelphia has passed a law forcing stores to accept physical fiat currency, the Wall Street Journal reports.
Starting July 1, it will be against the law for any retail store to refuse cash payment. All retailers will also be barred from charging extra for cash payments, and could be fined as much as $2,000 if they chose to ignore the law.
The rationale for the law is that it will protect low-income residents who don’t have access to credit or debit cards, and rely on cash payments.
Interestingly enough, some types of businesses are exempt. Parking lots, garages, wholesale stores and rental companies can choose to refuse cash if they wish. No rationale for that is cited, so presumably, Philadelphia lawmakers just feel like low-income residents don’t use those services. Advocates for those mired in poverty feel like the law simply isn’t strict enough.
“I think it presumes people who are low income don’t want to park their car or don’t use BJ’s (Wholesale Club),” said Mariana Chilton, director of the Center for Hunger Free Communities at Drexel University.
On the other side of the spectrum, some business owners aren’t happy either. “Businesses should be able to run their business how they see fit, without government interference,” said the Pennsylvania Restaurant & Lodging Association.
Unsurprisingly, the world’s largest ATM operator, Cardtronics, called the law’s signing “a great day for consumer payment choice.”
They would be excited, as recent studies have shown that as consumers move away from cash, ATMs have suffered. Increasingly, people want to use a system that has lower fees and provides greater opportunities, like Bitcoin SV (BSV).
The BSV community is stepping up to the task too. Businesses are quickly stepping up to create wallets and apps, like Handcash, that make it easy for nearly anyone to start using BSV as their preferred payment option. Because there’s no bank to deny the user, it really provides a financial freedom for people of any economic reality to start spending and saving their money anyway they see fit.
New to Bitcoin? Check out CoinGeek’s Bitcoin for Beginners section, the ultimate resource guide to learn more about Bitcoin—as originally envisioned by Satoshi Nakamoto—and blockchain.