New Jersey Does the Right Thing

I know that this sounds like a typo, but the Garden State has passed a law banning cashless shops and restaurants.

This has increasingly become an issue as shops have gone cashless in order to refuse service to the unbanked and homeless:

On Monday, New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy signed a bill banning cashless retail stores and restaurants in the Garden State. Murphy’s signature makes New Jersey the second state in the US to ban cashless stores, after Massachusetts banned them in 1978.

More recently, New Jersey’s move follows that of Philadelphia, which banned cashless stores earlier this month. Philadelphia’s legislation was a reaction to a growing number of stores that only accept credit cards or require customers to pay with an app, like Amazon’s new Amazon Go stores.

Ars contacted Amazon for comment on the new law, but the company did not respond.

Much like Philadelphia’s new law, New Jersey’s law makes an exception for parking garages and car rental companies, where a credit card is required upfront for incidentals. There is also an exception carved out for some airport stores, according to

Proponents of cashless stores say that they prevent theft, speed up customer convenience, and are generally more modern. Opponents say that cashless stores unfairly disadvantage people who don’t or can’t have credit cards and who don’t want the fees associated with prepaid debit cards.

According to, State Assemblyman Paul Moriarty said in a statement that “Many people don’t have access to consumer credit, and any effort by retail establishments to ban the use of cash is discriminatory towards those people.”

It’s a good start.

Many of the so-called “innovations” coming out of tech seem to have as an unspoken selling point the ability to discriminate.

We’ve seen this in AirBnB, Uber, Lyft, etc.

I’d like to see this on the ballot in California.

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