Colorado is the latest state to put forth legislation that supports payment choice. HB21-1048, sponsored by Rep. Valdez and Senator Robert Rodriguez, states that U.S. currency has to be taken at businesses in exchange for goods and services provided. The bill applies to the following groups: “Establishments that have an individual accepting payment in person; and A transaction in which a security deposit is not placed on a credit card or in which a credit card number is not provided to cover unforeseen damages or expenses.”

The violation for non-compliance would be a class 2 petty offence punishable with a fine of up to $500.

Unbanked and Underbanked

This legislation is in support of the millions of Americans who are unbanked and underbanked. 

According to the PEW Charitable Trusts, “About 7.1 million U.S. households don’t have a bank account, according to the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation’s latest survey in 2019. Rates are highest among low-income, Black, Hispanic and Native American households, as well as households headed by a person with disabilities, the FDIC survey shows. Nearly half of the unbanked people surveyed told the agency they can’t afford to maintain a minimum balance in an account.

“By requiring businesses to accept cash, lawmakers can prevent retailers from discriminating against unbanked people, even unintentionally, said Carol Hedges, executive director of the Colorado Fiscal Institute, a Denver-based think tank.”

Sellers Continue to Accept Cash

Thankfully, most retailers who currently accept cash will continue to do so. Square published survey results which show that 85 percent of sellers who accept cash do not have any plans to stop doing so. 

With more and more states and major cities getting on board to require that businesses accept cash payments, the less Americans will have to worry about whether or not they have the ability to pay for the goods and services they need. That is welcome news, indeed.

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