Can a business legally force you to not pay cash for their services? Say, you go to a restaurant and you have the money (in cash) in your wallet or purse for your dinner and drinks, can they force you to use debit or credit by saying that they refuse to take cash?

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Sounds like it shouldn't be a problem that they should take your cash and be happy that they are not paying the credit card fees, right?

In January 2020, there was a bill in-front of the New York City Council that would force businesses to take cash. The reason the issue is going to the City Council? Some people are claiming that this practice is discriminatory because not everyone has a bank account or a credit/debit card. For the record, the bill passed, NYC Mayor DeBlasio signed it, and it went into effect a few months ago, but because of COVID restrictions and less people heading into and out of the City, you might not have realized that the 'No Cash' signs are no longer there.

Why are businesses moving to a 'No Cash' model? There are a few reasons, here is just a couple:

  • Allegedly, it is easier to prove that you paid for their service (by card/check, etc) because there is an electronic receipt
  • The business won't need to keep cash (either the money that you gave them or cash on hand to be able to make change for you) on hand
  • The business doesn't have to worry about getting robbed when taking large amounts of cash to the bank for deposit
  • The business won't be worrying if its employees are trying to steal a few dollars, here and there from daily transactions. Come on, no one steals from their employer, right?

There are a few Hudson Valley businesses, Caremount being one of them, that have said "No, Thanks" to cash. Who isn't using cash in the Hudson Valley? What do you think of this No-Cash policy? Have you run into a situation where a business has given you a discount if you have paid cash?

Would you prefer to at least have an option to pay either way? What would you do in a situation where you had a service (ie, dinner), went to pay and then the restaurant said, No Cash?

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