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Cashless Ban: New Jersey Requires Businesses To Accept Cash

MENLO PARK, N.J. (CBSNewYork) - Experts say cashless businesses are becoming more popular as technology expands.

New Jersey just decided to swipe that idea away.

Cash is gold? Or credit cards are convenient?

"I don't carry cash. Very little. Always use a card. It's much easier," one man told CBS2's Meg Baker.

"Cash is easier. You can count cash in person," said Elijah Rodriguez of Woodbridge.

That debate raged on Monday in Trenton: Should businesses be allowed to go cashless? Governor Phil Murphy said no, signing a bill to ban businesses from refusing cash from customers.

Assemblyman Paul Moriarty sponsored the bill.

"I think a ban on cash is discriminatory. It marginalizes the poor, marginalizes young people who haven't established credit yet. People prefer to pay in cash, and people who don't want every aspect of life notated by a credit card company, right down to a stick of gum," Moriarty said.

The New Jersey Business and Industry Association says this removes a business owner's right to freely determine how they want to receive payment for products or services, and credit is most efficient.

"Businesses would not do something that would cause them to lose customers," said Michele Siekerka of the NJBIA. "Business-side efficiencies: Safety, security, not having to take bags of money to the bank at the end of the day, another cost to the business."

Most shoppers Baker spoke to in Menlo Park say they often don't have time to run to the bank and withdraw cash, and prefer not to pay ATM fees.

"I usually pay with a card. Almost always. Cash, you never have enough of it, don't know what the total is going to be," one woman told Baker.

"I guess what's troubling me is businesses like nail salons using applications like Venmo - stuff like that - more inconvenient than credit cards," another woman said.

Moriarty says the move to kill cash isn't a huge problem in New Jersey, and that this was a preemptive move to stop the practice, which is becoming more and more popular in neighboring cities like New York.

New Jersey is the second state to pass a cashless ban law. Massachusetts has also made it illegal.

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