Under pressure, Amazon plans to accept cash at cashierless 'Go' stores

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「Bowing to growing pressure from opponents who say that cashless stores leave out low-income Americans, Amazon plans to take cash at its 10 cashierless "Go" stores.」

Finally some good news! Having cashless stores does indeed leave out low-income Americans and those without a bank account. The reason why this 'victory' is important is to prevent the spread of cashless stores which would make it increasingly difficult to pay with cash. We don't want to become like Sweden to the point that they are almost entirely cashless which means that every single transaction is recorded when there is absolutely no need to be. Debit/credit card companies may also start to abuse getting more cuts from fees when handling transactions which makes alternative payment processors vital. It also isolates Sweden citizens who attempt to pay with cash - Labeling them as suspicious individuals doing illegal activities such as drugs. It is non-sense to label the majority for the actions of the minority.

「Eliminating cash disproportionately hurts minorities, immigrants and senior citizens, critics say. Around 8.4 million US households, or 6.5% of the country, were "unbanked" in 2017 — meaning they did not have a checking or savings account— according to the most recent FDIC data. And close to 17% of black households and 14% of Hispanic households did not have a bank account in 2017.」

Those percentages, if true, are a lot higher than I anticipated which makes it more crucial to keep cash alive. Those that truly do not have the means to open a bank account should not have to suffer from cashless stores.

「In 2019, Philadelphia passed a ban on cashless stores. So did New Jersey. And lawmakers in New York City, San Francisco and Washington are all currently weighing bans to prevent retailers and restaurants in their cities from going cashless.」

If not one of the few bans that actually make sense. It can be argued that eliminating cash at stores can be 'more efficient and safer' but that is mostly petty excuses. Not many people these pay in cash these days anyway so I doubt it is that much more of a hassle. For small in-store purchases where I live it actually takes longer for debit/credit card transactions to go through than cash does.



Some supplementary insightful comments courtesy of Slashdot:

Re:Low-income Americans are holding us back.

「Low-income Americans and illegal immigrants keep the good, old-fashioned, cold, hard cash economy rolling along. We should bow down, kiss their feet, and thank them for preserving payment options that are private and not subject to bankster tracking.」

Re:How does cashless exclude low income?

「It's easier to pay cash -- I know exactly how much I paid, and they can't enter an incorrect "tip" amount later. Plus cash is good, cash is private, we should all be doing our part to keep the cash economy humming along. It's our duty to freedom from tracking and bank/government control. I carry and pay cash as a (small) revolutionary act.」