Oregon businesses that accept only credit or debit cards for payment may be required to take cash under a bill proposed by Rep. Janell Bynum, D-Clackamas.
She said refusing to accept cash discriminates against people of color who are five times less likely than whites to have access to banks, according to the Oregonian/Oregon Live. While only 3 percent of whites in 2017 didn’t have a bank, Bynum said, more than 16 percent of African American families and 14 percent of Latinos were unbanked.
Business owners testified that many don’t accept cash for efficiency, security and safety reasons. Anthony Smith, National Federation of Independent Business director, said some business owners prefer cash, but others rarely receive cash in payment.
If it’s discrimination to accept only cards, he said, why does the bill exempt government agencies and other public bodies from the requirement to accept cash? Also excluded would be mobile food cards, roadside stands, and some airport businesses beyond the security checkpoint. It also wouldn’t apply to rental deposits, internet and phone sales, and purchases of fuel.