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Council To Consider Ban On Cashless Businesses In NYC

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) - The New York City Council has a proposal that would stop restaurants and retail businesses from refusing to accept payments in cash.

New York City Council member Ritchie Torres, who represents parts of the Bronx, proposed a bill Wednesday that would affect shops that currently only take electronic payments with credit and debit cards.

Torres says establishments that don't accept cash could be discriminating against communities that have difficulty accessing credit cards. Violators would face fines of up to $250 for a first offense and up to $500 for additional violations.

The move takes aim at protecting minorities tend to be excluded from the "cashless revolution" trend.

READ: Plastic Is King At New York Restaurants That No Longer Accept Cash

"I started coming across coffee shops and cafés that were exclusively cashless and I thought: But what if I was a low-income New Yorker who has no access to a card?" Torres told the website Grub Street. "I thought about it more and realized that even if a policy seems neutral in theory, it can be racially exclusionary in practice."

The bill already has three co-sponsors: Democratic city councilors Chaim Deutsch, Rafael Espinal and Keith Powers. The legislation has been referred to a council committee.

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