Only a signature by New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy is needed to make New Jersey the second state in the nation to ban cashless stores.
According to Store Brands’ sister publication, Chain Store Age, New Jersey legislators have passed a bill to prevent businesses from banning consumers from using cash for purchases. The bill, which passed with overwhelming support, applies only to point-of-sale purchases and excludes mail, telephone and internet sales. Car rental companies are also exempted.
“Many people do not have access to consumer credit, and any effort by retail establishments to ban the use of cash would be discriminatory towards those people,” said Rep. Paul D. Moriarty, D-Camden/Gloucester and one of the bill’s main sponsors, in a news release. “The U.S. dollar is legal tender and should be accepted at any retail establishment in New Jersey.”
Under the proposed law, violators would be subject to a civil fine of up to $2,500 for the first offense and $5,000 for the second. Further violations would be considered unlawful practices under the state’s Consumer Fraud Act.
If the measure becomes law, New Jersey would join Massachusetts as the only states to make cashless stores illegal. That state enacted its law in 1978.