Philadelphia bill bans cashless retail stores, throwing a wrench into Amazon's plans

Polycount

TS Evangelist
Staff member

Amazon has been ramping up their physical retail efforts lately. The company is reportedly planning to open up dozens of grocery stores throughout the US, and it's already launched several cash and cashier-free "Go" stores.

Unfortunately, one state may have just thrown a wrench into Amazon's plans, if only slightly. As reported by The Morning Call, Philadelphia governor Tom Wolf has recently approved a bill that effectively bans the operation of cash-free retail stores (with a handful of exceptions).

It should be noted that while the state has not banned cashier-free shops, this law still directly affects Amazon and its Go stores because all payments are processed digitally - there aren't any employees to hand your money to. Amazon has reportedly requested an exemption to this law, but we're not sure if they've had any luck so far.

There are obviously arguments to be made against or in favor of these new rules.

On the one hand, cash transactions are significantly more private than their digital counterparts. Fewer third-party companies can monitor your purchases, and having change in your pocket can be handy from time to time.

On the other hand, some may argue that a cashier-free, cash-less society is the way of the future, and laws like this simply stall progress.

Regardless of your personal feelings on the subject, Philadelphia's latest law will go into effect on July 1.

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Evernessince

地獄らしい人間動物園
Is there are reason to ban cashless stores? Sure some people might not be able shop there but that should be entirely up to the owners to decide.
 
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psycros

TS Evangelist
I agree with this decision. Only accepting plastic is the first step to only accepting Amazon's plastic. The anti-consumer parade of loyalty programs and economic walled gardens must die.
 

Uncle Al

TS Evangelist
If you go back into your history you'll see that "cash" was considered the universal form of exchange for goods and services. By going cashless you essentially discriminate against those that do not trust credit cards, cell phone devices, etc, etc. While you might not agree, remember that these laws are intended to protect ALL people, not just the tech savy.
Remember, there are many, many people out there that cannot handle credit cards, etc. without loosing control of their finances. Dealing with cash only helps keep them in check and for some of us, the idea of "paying" somebody else for the privilege of spending my own money is offensive. I personally have gone without a credit card for over 30 years, never do business through a bank (credit unions are much better) and only use my debit card when it's' to my advantage.
Why? Well, to start I'm debt free, own my home, cars. etc. outright and know from one moment to another what my balances and spending limits are. I'm not a millionaire, I'm just careful with my money. When I want something, I save up for it and when I can buy it I enjoy it that much more because I had to work to get it. If you've never tried it you have no idea what your missing!
 

Nocturne

TS Maniac
The state is Pennsylvania, Philadelphia is just a city, and a crappy one at that, PA would never turn away possible revenue especially when they are putting all over cashless tolls on State highways, It would be hypocritical at best.
 

Nocturne

TS Maniac
Is there are reason to ban cashless stores? Sure some people might not be able shop there but that should be entirely up to the owners to decide.
They're just upholding a federal law. "All debts public and private". While there hasn't ever been a supreme Court case that I know of, if you wish to do business in the US you have to accept the US Fiat currency
That is for the Feds to uphold not a state, and no you don't, the state and federal government in alot of cases will not accept cash, like at a DMV, Various Toll booths, City services ECT ECT, forcing archaic methods to be upheld is a bad precedent society evolves and on top of that you can't uphold a double standard.
 
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Nocturne

TS Maniac
The only thing they are doing is protecting illegal immigrants, that can't have a bank account due to lack of credentials, thus discriminating against people who technically arent entitled to not being discriminated against as they shouldn't be here and legally they are not residences entitled to benefits of the Constitution. This is flim flam from some liberal agenda, the only 6% they are claiming to protect are not entitled to it.
 

brucek

TS Maniac
Is there are reason to ban cashless stores? Sure some people might not be able shop there but that should be entirely up to the owners to decide.
Well, when that "some people" is a non-trivial portion of your city, who already suffer many other economic disadvantages, and the next disadvantage is a further threat to their ability to purchase basic food to eat, that is the kind of thing that is worth talking about.

As to an outright ban vs. other courses of action I'm not taking an opinion, but I do think its smart to open the discussion well before you have a significant population who literally can no longer purchase food.

My personal preference might run more towards getting Amazon and other interested parties to help figure out how to get the many people currently excluded from all US financial systems other than cash onto something that is practical for them.
 
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brucek

TS Maniac
The only thing they are doing is protecting illegal immigrants, that can't have a bank account due to lack of credentials, thus discriminating against people who technically arent entitled to not being discriminated against as they shouldn't be here and legally they are not residences entitled to benefits of the Constitution. This is flim flam from some liberal agenda, the only 6% they are claiming to protect are not entitled to it.
There is no law that requires you to be a citizen or legal resident to open a bank account. I think the more relevant problem for many people who don't have one is the account minimum balance which they don't have, and/or the monthly fees which are too high relative to their income/assets. Another practical challenge can be when there is no bank conveniently located to where you live and work.
 
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Evernessince

地獄らしい人間動物園
Well, when that "some people" is a non-trivial portion of your city, who already suffer many other economic disadvantages, and the next disadvantage is a further threat to their ability to purchase basic food to eat, that is the kind of thing that is worth talking about.

As to an outright ban vs. other courses of action I'm not taking an opinion, but I do think its smart to open the discussion well before you have a significant population who literally can no longer purchase food.

My personal preference might run more towards getting Amazon and other interested parties to help figure out how to get the many people currently excluded from all US financial systems other than cash onto something that is practical for them.
I'm sure the city can come up with ways to help everyone go cashless. No one needs to get left behind.
 

xxLCxx

TS Addict
Imagine you were an important figure. Let's say that you’re a female activist. Would you want to buy a pregnancy test with your credit card?
 
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Nocturne

TS Maniac
The only thing they are doing is protecting illegal immigrants, that can't have a bank account due to lack of credentials, thus discriminating against people who technically arent entitled to not being discriminated against as they shouldn't be here and legally they are not residences entitled to benefits of the Constitution. This is flim flam from some liberal agenda, the only 6% they are claiming to protect are not entitled to it.
There is no law that requires you to be a citizen or legal resident to open a bank account. I think the more relevant problem for many people who don't have one is the account minimum balance which they don't have, and/or the monthly fees which are too high relative to their income/assets. Another practical challenge can be when there is no bank conveniently located to where you live and work.
It's part of what was left over from Bush's Patriot act I believe, you have to have valid government credentials to open an account for tax tracking and to monitor terrorist behavior.

https://www.nerdwallet.com/blog/banking/how-to-open-a-bank-account-what-you-need/

Part of it is to prove you are who you say you are.... So please keep going.............
 
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lipe123

TS Evangelist
I hope they also enforce some laws to make sure you have a post outside your shop to tie your horse and buggy to! I mean we don't want to discriminate here or mess with federal laws that's 100 years old or whatever.

What a stupid law.. seriously. I don't even know when the last time was that I paid for anything with cash. Do these people honestly see a future where people will still use cash 50 years from now or longer?
 
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Nocturne

TS Maniac
I hope they also enforce some laws to make sure you have a post outside your shop to tie your horse and buggy to! I mean we don't want to discriminate here or mess with federal laws that's 100 years old or whatever.

What a stupid law.. seriously. I don't even know when the last time was that I paid for anything with cash. Do these people honestly see a future where people will still use cash 50 years from now or longer?
Or how about the law in Lancaster where if you pass a horse and buggy you need to pull over and remove your wheels from the car, believe it or not that is real.

There are enough stupid laws that do exist that people don't remember nor do they remember the reason why they were created or last upheld in a court.
 
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brucek

TS Maniac
It's part of what was left over from Bush's Patriot act I believe, you have to have valid government credentials to open an account for tax tracking and to monitor terrorist behavior.

https://www.nerdwallet.com/blog/banking/how-to-open-a-bank-account-what-you-need/

Part of it is to prove you are who you say you are.... So please keep going.............
Perhaps you missed the "How Undocumented Immigrants Can Get Bank Accounts" article on that same site:

https://www.nerdwallet.com/blog/banking/undocumented-immigrants-bank-accounts/
 
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Halcyon

TS Rookie
Is there are reason to ban cashless stores? Sure some people might not be able shop there but that should be entirely up to the owners to decide.
It's about control. It's more difficult to track and monitor people and what they're purchasing if they always use cash. A credit or debit card makes it so that big brother can easily know when, where, and what you bought.

There's been a big push to go cashless for this reason for a while now and we'll see it intensify.
 

Nocturne

TS Maniac
Perhaps you missed the "How Undocumented Immigrants Can Get Bank Accounts" article on that same site:

https://www.nerdwallet.com/blog/banking/undocumented-immigrants-bank-accounts/
Which is still Government issued IDENTIFiCATION, by LAW, and they never state illegal, it's stated as foreigner ( or undocumented which isn't possible considering the options they present which are all Government issued identification ***** making it oxymoronic ) somebody on a Visa can still have an account *****........next time read it should make sense if you actually put it into proper context. What they are saying as undocumented isn't what you are trying to reference it is......
 
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Nocturne

TS Maniac
Imagine you were an important figure. Let's say that you’re a female activist. Would you want to buy a pregnancy test with your credit card?
Why not, does it make a difference? It's not like journalistic media or anyone else has access to that information, what about the store camera that captures her buying it with cash....there is no end to stupidity. If she has a subpoena on her well that right to privacy just went away, regardless she is guilty of something if she is dragged in court and a judge let's that info be obtained.
 

brucek

TS Maniac
Which is still Government issued IDENTIFiCATION, by LAW, and they never state illegal, it's stated as foreigner ( or undocumented which isn't possible considering the options they present which are all Government issued identification ***** making it oxymoronic ) somebody on a Visa can still have an account *****........next time read it should make sense if you actually put it into proper context. What they are saying as undocumented isn't what you are trying to reference it is......
The point is that if you are in the US illegally, it is still possible to use government documents from your original/legal country to open a bank account US. Doing so does not automatically trigger any immigration enforcement, by design. You seem to be confusing "government document" for "US government document" which is not the case.

All of this is to refute your original, wrong point, which is that this law is primarily about protecting illegal immigrants. It's not. The concern is much bigger than that, about a much larger population, which is the legal urban working poor who do not have credit cards, do not have bank accounts, (and also not infrequently do not have easy access to passports, license, and birth certificate either) and so far have been able to exist OK like that. Removing their ability to eat with cash is the kind of serious problem readers here may not have any exposure to, but would not be lost on say the Philadelphia city council.
 
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Nocturne

TS Maniac
It's about control. It's more difficult to track and monitor people and what they're purchasing if they always use cash. A credit or debit card makes it so that big brother can easily know when, where, and what you bought.

There's been a big push to go cashless for this reason for a while now and we'll see it intensify.
Who cares, over a quarter the government gets caught using pornhub on government work computers, no one gives a crap maybe just maybe being able to track transactions would drop crime rates, the only people who care are criminals, right to privacy, always was a fictional concept when people build glass houses. Most of the people that are on these concepts are running corporations that datamine extract and sell personal information, they just don't want you to know they were banging hookers in florida.....kraft perhaps? Right to privacy is only deemed important to those rich enough to afford it, better lawyers, higher walls, private security, for the average Joe no one cares it's expected that the bottom 25% are drug addicted low education law breakers.
 

JamesSWD

TS Maniac
It's about control. It's more difficult to track and monitor people and what they're purchasing if they always use cash. A credit or debit card makes it so that big brother can easily know when, where, and what you bought.

There's been a big push to go cashless for this reason for a while now and we'll see it intensify.
Who cares, over a quarter the government gets caught using pornhub on government work computers, no one gives a crap maybe just maybe being able to track transactions would drop crime rates, the only people who care are criminals, right to privacy, always was a fictional concept when people build glass houses. Most of the people that are on these concepts are running corporations that datamine extract and sell personal information, they just don't want you to know they were banging hookers in florida.....kraft perhaps? Right to privacy is only deemed important to those rich enough to afford it, better lawyers, higher walls, private security, for the average Joe no one cares it's expected that the bottom 25% are drug addicted low education law breakers.
Wow...they programmed you well to believe privacy is non-existent and irrelevant.