District of Columbia eyes bill to stymie cash bans at restaurants

Lawmakers in the nation's capital are weighing in on the growing trend among some merchants — mainly restaurants — of refusing cash payments.

Council members representing the District of Columbia have introduced a bill that would require establishments to accept cash payment for goods and services, according to a report in The Washington Post.

At the heart of the matter is a concern among some D.C. council members that limiting payment to bankcards discriminates against the 1 in 10 D.C. residents who are un- or underbanked and thus cannot pay via plastic.

For their part, card-only merchants argue that a cash ban eliminates issues related to cash handling that include robbery, employee theft and time spent counting and depositing cash.

According to the article, though, some merchants remain committed to accepting cash from non card-carrying customers.

" … [T]hey are hungry too, and have $10 in their pockets and they would like to spend their legal American form of tender, known as cash, with you," one restaurant owner told The Post.

The article said that a bill similar to the one now being floated in the District was proposed last year in Chicago, but did not succeed.

Topics: Regulatory Issues, Restaurants, Trends / Statistics

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