Your Money’s No Good Here: Progress and Pitfalls in Cashless Commerce

There is a strong push on the part of card companies and some merchants to eliminate cash in retail. In New York City a growing number of restaurants no longer accept cash. Consumers who have only cash cannot buy food at Tender Greens, Dig Inn, Two Forks, Van Leeuwen, Bluestone Lane, Pokee or Daily Provisions. Merchants cite speeded payment, less vulnerability to robbery, hygiene and need for fewer workers as pros. Visa and MasterCard are promoting the move to eliminate cash.But 360,000 unbanked families and 780,000 underbanked face loss of access to food and other goods and services. In response, NYC Council Member Ritchie Torres’ (Bronx, District 15) proposed legislation to prohibit businesses from only accepting credit and debit cards—and require they accept US legal tender.Discussion will include:* What’s the state of the move to cashless in the NYC Metro area?* Why has Council Member Torres introduced his bill and what are its prospects for passage?* If passed what will be its impact, and how will it be enforced?* What are the pros and cons of going cashless for the different groups of players? -Merchants and service providers -Consumers in general; consumers who are “unbanked” -Payment companies -Government* What are the obstacles? How can you answer the “cons”?* What are the remedies?* Can Fintech solve the problem? With special thanks to our annual sponsor: Louise Keely Ernst & Young Transaction Advisory Board Principal Ritchie J. Torres New York City Council, District 15 Council Member

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