New York City Council votes to ban cashless businesses

2020/08/19 21:35

Today's Vocabulary

1.lawmakers (n) 
someone, such as a politician, who is responsible for making and changing laws 


2. practice (n) 
something that is usually or regularly done, often as a habit, tradition, or custom

3. bill (n) 
a formal statement of a planned new law  that is discussed before being voted on

4. backlash (n) 
a strong, negative reaction  to something, esp. to change

5. jurisdiction (n) 
the authority of a court or official organization to make decisions and judgments

6. legislation (n)  
a law or set of laws suggested by a government and made official by a parliament

7. measures (n) 
a way of achieving something, or a method for dealing with a situation

New York City Council votes to ban cashless businesses

New York City lawmakers voted Thursday to require stores and restaurants to accept cash for payment, saying businesses that accept only credit and debit cards are discriminating against New Yorkers who lack bank accounts and credit cards.

“This practice punishes the underbanked,” City Council Speaker Corey Johnson said before the council’s 43-3 vote in favor of the bill.

Under the bill, businesses that refuse cash will be fined $1,000 for the first violation and $1,500 after that. The measure, which is expected to go into effect by the end of the year, also prohibits stores from charging higher prices for paying in cash.

Democratic Mayor Bill de Blasio is expected to sign the legislation. A spokeswoman for the mayor said that he supports the intent of the bill but that his administration will review it.

Backers of the cashless model say the benefits include greater efficiency and eliminating the risk of theft, but opponents say millions of Americans still rely on cash.

In adopting the ban on cashless businesses, New York City joins a growing backlash against the digital-only economy.

Philadelphia became the first U.S. city to ban cashless stores last year, despite opposition by retail giant Amazon. San Francisco and New Jersey passed similar measures soon after. Only one jurisdiction required businesses to accept cash before 2019: Massachusetts, which passed a law nearly 40 years ago.

Councilman Kalman Yeger, a Brooklyn Democrat, said that businesses should accept cash but that the local government shouldn’t force them to.

“We’re inserting ourselves into the business of business in a way that we don’t have a right to do in my opinion,” he said in explaining his “no” vote.

But some businesses that will be affected by the no-cash ban said they will follow the law when it is enacted.


  1. Who do critics think cashless payments discriminate against?
  2. How much would a business be fined for violating the law?
  3. What will businesses not be able to insist customers make use of?

“Waiting to taste the cashless economy.”