"We in the Council have real concerns that an increasingly cashless marketplace could have a real-world discriminatory effect on the most vulnerable New Yorkers," said the bill's sponsor, Councilmember Ritchie Torres, in a phone interview. "There are some people, especially senior citizens...who prefer cash as a habitual method of payment. There are some who prefer cash because it's more predictable. Or they're concerned about privacy."


The bill imposes civil penalties: $1,000 for the first violation, and $1,500 for additional violations. Businesses that have a way to convert cash into cards -- say, laundromats -- are exempt, but they must not impose a fee for the cards or require a minimum deposit more than $1, and the cards cannot expire.

Crypto-based consumer kiosk cards would be a good application for this.

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