Miami-Dade Eyes Legislation to Defend Payment Choice
Miami-Dade’s Commissioner René García has introduced an ordinance that would require businesses in the Floridian county to accept cash, saying its rejection damages minority communities and overall choice.
Many states including Arizona, Colorado, Massachusetts, New Jersey and Rhode Island already have pro-cash legislation, as do cities including New York, Philadelphia and San Francisco. There is also support from both sides of the political aisle for nationwide legislation to defend the right to pay cash, but while this advances many areas are looking to introduce their own laws more rapidly.
Everywhere you go, you’re starting to see us move away from a legal tender to cashless situations. I just think that the only one that benefits is the banks. I’m not saying get rid of cashless… but it should not eliminate cash.
García says banks benefit from card payments through transaction fees, meaning higher costs for individuals and businesses, which disproportionately affects the unbanked and underbanked people who are often members of minority communities.
Making it clear that he is not telling anyone to abandon cashless options—only seeking to ensure cash remains a choice—García says he has concerns about entering ‘murky waters’ of eliminating legal tender from the payment mix.
While cash-friendly legislation recently failed to progress at the state-wide level, García is hopeful of ensuring all payment choices are on offer to Miami-Dade citizens at every business. The ordinance has passed a committee hearing and is now progressing towards becoming law.