San Francisco became the second major U.S. city to ban cashless businesses in a Tuesday vote by the city Board of Supervisors, according to the San Francisco Examiner.
The Board’s 11 members voted unanimously to approve the measure, according to the AP.
While the "future may be cashless," the practice is "excluding too many people," Supervisor Vallie Brown (D), who introduced the bill, said, according to the newspaper. “This legislation will go far in ensuring all San Franciscans have equitable access to the city’s economy,” she said.
“The purpose of this [law]is to ensure that all City residents — including those who lack access to other forms of payment are able to participate in the City’s economic life by paying cash for goods and many services," the bill states.
The bill would exempt temporary pop-up stores, ride-share companies and online businesses, as well as food trucks, which say they do not have the resources to accept cash. Several restaurants in San Francisco’s upscale neighborhoods such as South of Market and the Financial District do not currently accept cash, including coffee shop Bluestone Lane and chicken restaurant The Organic Coup.
The measure’s passage would make San Francisco the third city or state to ban the practice, following Philadelphia and New Jersey, with New York introducing similar legislation. Critics argue the practice discriminates against lower-income customers who may not be able to obtain credit or debit cards. Seventeen percent of African-American households and 15 percent of Latino households do not have a bank account, according to the Examiner, citing Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation data.