Retailers are now legally required to keep accepting cash after Gov. Phil Murphy signed Assembly Bill 591 on Monday, which prohibits discrimination against cash-paying customers.
Until now, Massachusetts was the only state that required retailers to take cash.
New Jersey Business Industry Association Vice President of Government Affairs Michael Wallace called the ability for businesses to determine what they accept as payment is a business owners’ rights issue.
“The preference for retailers to run a cashless business is often based on efficiencies and, in some cases, as a safety measure,” Wallace said in a prepared statement. “Consumers of all income levels are able to access pre-paid cards for purchasing. As such, this law will ultimately stifle innovation and act as a further deterrent to doing business in New Jersey.”
According to New Jersey Retailer Merchants Association President John Holub, this legislation will have little to no immediate impact, as most retailers have indicated they don’t intend to go completely cashless.
“I’m more concerned about the future impact this may have and it’s potential to stifle innovation in the retail industry,” Holub said.