>In New York City, the majority of the nearly 12 percent of unbanked and 25 percent underbanked residents are people of color. Close to 17 percent of black New Yorkers and 14 percent of Latinx New Yorkers are unbanked, compared to just 3 percent of white New Yorkers.
I had no idea that many people didn't use banking services, which probably says more about me than anything.
Not to get too political, but this reminds me a lot of the coal vs renewables debate. I'm 100% on the side of transitioning away from coal, towards renewables, the same as I am in favor of ditching cash. But people who still depend on the coal industry, and using cash, can't just be forgotten about because "cashless is better".
Places should be forced to accept cash until everyone can go cashless (within reason obviously, there needs to be some sort of line drawn here, but those percentages show we're not there yet), and the government should support/retrain coal miners who lose their jobs due to energy transitions.
But if places are forced to accept cash, people who haven't adhered to cashless forms of payments have no incentive to swap.
If it is a significant part of the market, then cash-accepting places should still out-compete cashless. If being cashless is such an advantage that the reverse is true, then people should be given incentives to change. This feels to me like a government action that goes against economic interests (whether or not it should still be done is another question, but I'd personally vote against this regulation if given the option).
I find a more interesting argument against this to be the fact that cashless payments actually depend on a corporation or third party entity doing the payment for you. Which, lacking appropriate regulation, would give them the power to ban certain people or business from doing transactions altogether (think China social credit systems).
edit: Regarding the first point, I just mean the government seems to be taking action in the wrong area just for appearances, when the issue would be investigating why people don't have cashless payment options and promoting change there
With energy transition it's obvious: cleaner environment/planet, new industries with safe jobs, elimination of a dangerous job, a healthier population. So it's beneficial for the government to help make the transition happen quicker, and support the people negatively affected by it.
If there are societal benefits towards getting everyone to be cashless (I'm not an expert in this, I simply choose cashless because it's more convenient for me, although I suspect there are larger benefits), then the government should take the same role. Help the transition happen, and support those that will struggle with it. If they're not going to help the transition, or if there are no larger societal benefits with the transition, then the people that still depend on the older option should still be able to depend on it.
I've done a 180 on this one. Used to use a credit card for everything, now using cash more and more whenever possible. Credit is convenient, often provides valuable benefits (miles, cash back) and gives you a nice convenient summary of your monthly spending, but in exchange you're inserting an un-wanted 3rd party into every transaction who skims off value for themselves and then turns around and sells your private data all over the place. This trade-off is making less and less sense to me.
Unless we collectively decide to take action against giving payment providers that much power and private data, but I don't think that was the driving force behind this policy.
Is it obvious though? I find it's more ideological than an actual well thought out plan: https://quillette.com/2019/02/27/why-renewables-cant-save-th...
Which to me seems to be the case for most scenarios where government adds regulations on the market for the "greater good". In general I favor letting the market decide where things should head.
I'm not against government intervention to help those affected by changes catch up and adapt (even though I often disagree with the policies put in place to achieve this). But I do tend to oppose when the government tries to force the market's direction instead. If people drive the market to want to go cashless, the effort should be in helping everyone do so.
And why should they swap? What advantage cashless brings instead of being a solution in search of a problem (and facilitating total surveillance)?
The cashless society represents a fundamental danger to liberty.
Businesses that offer customers a discount for paying in cash are more likely to be saving that money because they're dodging taxes, not because they're dodging CC fees.
Places should be forced to accept cash AND I'd suggest people never go cashless.
Once people surrender the right to anonymity, we might never get it back.
Poor people are making completely rational decisions when choosing not to trust banks, and it's patronizing to assume they simply don't know better.
 banks re-ordering transactions to maximise overdraft fees.
Still paying a larger fee to cash a cheque sure beats having all your assets frozen entirely.
- Illegal presence in the country
- Concealing income from taxation/child support order
If I showed you that a greater percentage of $BELEAGUERED_GROUP liked to go around without a shirt/shoes, would that be a convincing argument for prohibiting stores from having a "no shirt, no shoes, no service" policy?
The whole thing reminds me a little bit of that 30 Rock episode where Liz Lemon gets stuck with a 50 dollar bill and gets into a shouting match with a convenience store clerk when he wont accept it, saying something along the lines of "this is legal tender, you have to accept it!" Not the same situation as what is being discussed here, Liz's sentiment still applies.
Say- take Discover (which is a bank and payment provider network) and recharter them as a government owned corporation or make them wholely owned by the Federal Reserve. Then, give the USPS the ability to act as a simple bank frontend for these accounts- giving you overnight a national footprint that everyone can access. Make the transaction fee on this network near Zero, and allow anyone to have an account with you. Get rid of the credit ability, and you get a true alternative to cash.
Anything less is Visa/Mastercard forming a chokehold on out financial lives. I would love to ditch my credit cards for cash, but right now I'm being bribed with the great benefits that Visa/Amex are forcing merchants to pay for.
I thought it was also impressive to see them get rid of receipt paper. If you need it, they can send you an email or text. Very streamlined and cost effective.
An example aside from self serve is that I know someone who just opened a tap room and is doing very well. He only accepts credit cards, and I didn't need to ask why. Not only do you no longer need to worry about cashiers skimming a little off the top, but back office / deposits become a trivial task.
I look at it as another way that cost is getting squeezed out through automation. As long as the industry stays competitive, consumers will benefit from that.
If stores wanted to weasel around this law, they could keep their supply of coins and dollar bills low so customers are forced to either leave or pay without getting change back.
Aside from helping to build our future surveillance dystopia, they promote cashless retail as more 'futuristic', and make fun of cheques and cash.
I don't understand a culture that promotes volunteering your own surveillance data (social media, smartphones) and surrendering your anonymity as trendy core values.
I find it partially annoying that some of the cash only stores I go into. Gouge with a 5$ ATM fee, then I have to hold change. But again not everyone has access to a bank.
What I found interesting is the gloss over of the Septa Key (new transit card) system, during this discussion. While it was botched. It was initially positioned as a debit card for those who couldn't get a bank account. Available to load with cash at any kiosk and making it a master card debit card. It actually saved me when I had fraud on one of my cards. I switched to it as my primary payment method while awaiting a new card.
Amazon was trying something similar. Provide cash at I think CVS or somewhere else. Then it goes into your Amazon gift balance.
In the end. I think these cashless laws are good. Even if the above work perfectly. Some people don't want a strong history attached with their purchases.
We have 3 groups:
There are 2 types of services:
3% of group 1 can't use Service A
14% of group 2 can't use Service A
13% of group 3 can't use Service A
Does Service A racially discriminate against any of these group?
No, it does not. It just can't accepts business from people who use Service A. So people who can't or won't use Service A have to go to another business that does accept Service B.
But okay let's play pretend.
Let's say it is discrimination then it's only potentally more effective against certain groups by 10%.
I say potentially because how many in this group would go to a this specific chain? probably less then that 10%.
I'd wager the actual percentage affected falls in the area of margin of error. AKA sucks to be you but it's a free country so cross the street to somewhere they do accept your cash.
I could definitely see a situation where a company uses a cash ban as a facade to reject a certain clientele (namely, poor people that can't afford the technology or don't have the means to get a credit card).
However a seller is generally allowed to refrain from selling (bar certain specific protections), and thus the seller is allowed to not create the debt in the first place. This is why, while cash remains legal tender, one could legally end up in situation where it's virtually impossible to buy certain goods or services for cash.
Nb., I support the general idea of this legislation, specifically for reasons of privacy and practicality.
"Legal tender" must be accepted for settling the debt.
It means a bartender may refuse to pour you beer if you intend to pay in the form he doesn't like. But once he poured you the beer you have entered the debt for settling of which a bartender must accept your cash.
Disclaimer: don't try it in the only bar in your village.
This topic is not about banning cash... it's about banning refusal to accept cash.
Stated in another way: Do you have the right to pay in cash? Are business obligated to accept cash?
However, I live in a country and with lots of non-bank related cashless payment options. Commuter pass, branch chain store money card, point card, gift check or payment by smartphone service? Ok. Best part of all those options is that I have every single one but the last and never had to show personal identification to use them.
The real downside to cashless is that you can't just transfer some to a friend without it going through a company and paying some kind of "fee" or being "spied on". The only real upside to cashless for companies is that employees can't really steal hard cash anymore and they can take out cashiers from the payroll. Most of the cashless business in the country I live in have done away with cashiers and added personel to other parts of the company. I think it improves some companies while others need a human to handle transactions.
Interestingly the flip side of this is cash only places. New York is also a huge user of Venmo for those times when you only have a card, but the place is cash only. Often if you don't want to have to leave to find an ATM and pay an ATM fee someone else will pay your bill in cash if you Venmo them the money. The problem of a cash free, or cash only place is easily solved in both cases with a little cooperation with your fellow New Yorkers.
Personally I'd think it laughable if the government attempted to force them to accept cash.
What next, make them accept cheques?!
> In most countries of the world the issue of banknotes is handled exclusively by a single central bank or government, but in the United Kingdom seven retail banks have the right to print their own banknotes in addition to the Bank of England; sterling banknote issue is thus not automatically tied in with one national identity or the activity of the state.
For instance if I were to go further south, any Scottish notes I have would not be accepted in a load of places. More generally using banknotes from Northern Ireland in Britain will get you funny looks and a near 100% refusal.
Advantages of cashless? Is the cost of handling cash really greater than the percentage paid to the payment processors? It's an honest question and I'd be interested in some real studies on this because it would seem to be a hard metric to measure.
I don't know the costs or anything, but it must make sense for these businesses at least?
It bars the homeless and poor from the establishment!
Can anyone that disagrees explain the opposing take?
* Eliminates robbery: no cash to take
* Reduces expenses: no cash register or bill machine
* Saves time: no change or trips to the bank
> It bars the homeless and poor from the establishment!
That's probably a big benefit to people who own certain establishments.
On a personal note, I prefer cash and appreciate the places that give me a discount for using it.
The problem with credit cards isn't the concept (which I like) it is that they're rent-seekers that seem to want an ever increasing slice of the pie. We currently pay 2.5% of most purchases to these companies, with plans to increase that further.
The problem is that their costs should be falling, since their volumes have increased massively but instead of passing on those cost reductions they're trying to leverage their duopoly harder.
Cash is the only leverage society has to keep credit card processing fees low. If it disappears and there remains an uncompetitive market, we'll all suffer as a result.
This means that the US Government, which issues the currency, basically has less power than Visa and Mastercard. It's the currency of the nation... They should be required to take it unless they have a legitimate reason not to.
How's that? Nobody is required to accept Visa or Mastercard either.
You still can pay your taxes in cash, but they do everything they can to discourage you from it.
 "Why Sweden is close to becoming a cashless economy", https://www.bbc.com/news/business-41095004
Swedes turn against cashlessness
Cash must be accepted. It is the only form of payment (besides cryptocurrencies) where the individual does the payment. Other forms are merely large corporations/institutions using their financial clout to signal that they will pay for something in the future. Those corporations always have perverse incentives to both sell your purchasing history to anyone that wants it as well and to enact financial embargoes against arbitrary people/companies whenever even slight political or social pressure is applied.
Additionally, work-arounds for the law of having to accept cash for all debts should be addressed. Many retail or food service companies will only take your business initially if you present a credit card.
"You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means." — Inigo Montoya,
Yes, it is racism. There's far more difference between a corporate person and a human person than between any of the human persons. Corporate persons are of a very different race and receive a lot of preferential treatment from retail businesses.
Cash is the bane of society. We would live better without it on every single aspect imaginable. (including but not limited to health, environment, crime)
While I love the ease of use of electronic payments of all stripes, your assertion runs counter to my general knowledge and judgement. Can you support the assertion somehow?
In my understanding the ease and safety of use of either cash or electronic payments is pretty much ensured by the easy and safety of the other alternative. Competition FTW.
The biggest problem I face is tellers that can no longer do simple math and have problems counting.
Cashless means that it doesn't accept physical money, paper bills and metal coins. It only accepts credit or debit cards. Or any other kind of electronic medium.
After all he has money, right?
We detached this subthread from https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=19337833 and marked it off-topic.
I think it's important to understand "racist" as an effect, not as an opinion. The decision to not accept cash probably wasn't made with racist intentions, but it can very well have racist outcomes.
I'm pretty sure it's the other way around. If as a white person you punch a black person because you don't like the car the person is driving, that's not racism, that's just some weird aggression. It's not based on the concept of race. But if you punch them because they're black, that's obviously racism.
Same thing here. If you're taking an action that indirectly causes harm to mostly non-whites (more specifically to poor people, some of whom are white) without the intent of causing harm, that's not racist. It's only racist if you feel that the group that's being harmed is racially/ethnically inferior to your group and that that justifies your actions.
That isn't to say that knowingly causing harm to people, even without any racism involved, is OK. It's not. But it's the intent that defines racism.