New bill requires businesses to accept cash
PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WLNE) -- Cash is king? That's not the case at some businesses like by Chloe in Providence. The restaurant is cashless.
"We get a lot of, 'Wow, that's so new age. Wow, that's so cool. Wow, that's the future,'" said manager Angie Riccio of the customer reactions.
She says those customers don't usually mind that they have to pay cash.
"Most people pull out a credit card," she said. "It's definitely the smaller purchases where we might lose people, getting a pastry, getting a water bottle, who immediately pull out a five dollar bill. And we have to say that we can't."
Riccio says not having cash on the premises is also faster, safer, and easier for employees.
"I love that I haven't had to touch money, and count it out, and correct errors, or talk to a staff member if there's a mistake," she said. "It's beautiful. It just swipes and goes."
But Wednesday, the Rhode Island house passed a bill requiring that all businesses accept cash.
“More and more retailers are shifting to cashless transactions in other parts of the country for various reasons,” the bill's sponsor, Rep. Mia Ackerman said in a statement. “From a consumer perspective, this could have a negative impact on working class customers, senior citizens and college students who don’t have credit cards.”
And several college students agree.
"I think it's not right to assume that everyone doesn't use cash anymore," said Zahid Hasan.
"Why exclude that like one percent of your possible market, when you could still have them be there?" said Deanna Moorehead.
"Even though it might be an issue for the speed of transactions, I think it's good to be accessible to all people," said Sydney Rayburn.
Riccio recognizes those arguments, and says her restaurant will adjust if the bill passes.
"I do understand it is kind of a hierarchy to have a credit card or have a bank account," she said. "There are people who work here who don't have a bank account. So I think as much as we are stepping into the future, we are kind of going to give a nod to everyone we've kind of turned down, or has felt as though we're turning them away, even if that's not our intention."
The bill now heads to the Rhode Island Senate. And Congressman Cicilline is now also proposing such a bill at the federal level to require businesses in all states to accept cash.
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