New York City's council votes to ban cashless businesses

New York City’s council has voted to ban cashless businesses, in what politicians said was an effort to rein in “the excesses of the digital economy” and stop discrimination against low-income residents.

The city council on Thursday almost unanimously passed legislation, which will fine retail outlets, including stores and restaurants, if they refuse to accept cash payment.

Supporters of the ban argue that electronic-only payments discriminate against low-income people, undocumented immigrants and people of color, who are less likely to have a bank account or access to credit. 

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The cashless society from an ethical point of view

The debate about the move towards a cashless society has been at the center of the scene for several years, now. Various angles have been taken by economists, politicians, banking institutions and sociologists. Beyond the technicalities of the debate, lies the question of freedom, of inter-citizen solidarity and of governmental responsibility. The debate cannot remain in the hands of financial specialists, it is first and foremost an ethical, political and societal issue.

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