While several countries are swiftly adopting cashless societies, the US is lagging behind. Opponents say cashless systems benefit the rich more than the poor and don’t work for everyone.
Businesses in several major US cities are refusing cash payments. This is why Los Angeles official Heather Huff wants to outlaw this practise. This indicates growing concern about how such rules exclude people.
Los Angeles Landscape of Cashless
According to Insider, many Los Angeles establishments now accept credit cards and digital payments instead of cash. This change is lauded for making things easier and safer.
However, Heather Hutt makes a key point about how easily many city residents may access the economy. “Cashless businesses create an economy in our city that’s not open to everyone,” adds Hutt. Businesses that solely accept non-cash payments are perceived as discriminating against low-income persons who still need cash for daily purchases.
This has led to calls for local city prosecutors to ban enterprises from exclusively accepting non-cash payments. The major goal is to reform how people pay so everyone is treated properly and can get what they need.
Heather Hutt says, “Since we want to be a safe and fair city, we must ensure that all of our systems promote justice and equality.”
Examples from other cities
Besides Los Angeles, other cities are working to make living affordable. Other U.S. localities have banned enterprises from only accepting non-cash payments. Good examples include New York, Philadelphia, and San Francisco.
The 2019 San Francisco ban on non-cash companies made headlines. As in Los Angeles, this policy aims to treat everyone in the neighbourhood fairly.
“Fairness matters. In May 2020, San Francisco Police Chief Bill Scott noted, “Not everyone has a credit card or an ATM card, but the public needs basic services.” This highlights how crucial it is to tailor a city’s financial system to its citizens’ needs.
Opportunities and Challenges of Change to Cashless
Despite a growing effort for accessible payment systems, issues remain. People who dislike cashless programmes believe they unfairly exclude those without bank accounts or credit cards. For many, especially low-income people, cash is still essential for daily tasks.
Local leaders are seeking solutions because they recognise they must change. People who want everyone to have money are pushing for new payment mechanisms that bridge old and modern.
Action by Heather Hutt
Heather Hutt’s Los Angeles initiative is part of a societal shift towards reassessing cashless systems’ effects on different communities. As a city employee, she supports inclusive financial practises to make cities safe, fair, and easy to navigate.
Current US disapproval of cashless tendencies reveals how complicated financial innovation and social equity are. Cities aim to use new technologies to solve these issues and ensure that everyone benefits.