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Cashless stores could soon be banned in Philadelphia

February 10, 2019



<Date: February 8, 2019>

<Time: 07:00>

<Tran: 020805cb.410>

<Type: Show>

<Head: Cashless stores could soon be banned in Philadelphia>

<Sect: News; Domestic>


<High: A proposed law in Philadelphia would make it illegal for businesses

to turn away customers who only have cash. City council may vote on a bill

to ban cashless stores next week. Supporters say those businesses are

unfair to minorities and the poor.>

<Spec: Philadelphia; La Colombe; Pennsylvania Restaurant; Lodging

Association; Bluestone Lane Coffee; Sweetgreen; Dos Toros; Dig Inn; Tender

Greens; Milk Bar; Starbucks; Amazon; Walmart; Shake Shack; Bill Greenlee>

JOHN DICKERSON: A proposed law in Philadelphia would make it illegal for businesses to turn away customers who only have cash. City council may vote on a bill to ban cashless stores next week. Supporters say those businesses are unfair to minorities and the poor. David Begnaud is at a Philadelphia coffee shop where cash accounts for about forty percent of its sales. David, good morning.

DAVID BEGNAUD (CBS News Correspondent): John, good morning. How do you pay for your coffee?

JOHN DICKERSON: Mostly credit card, David.

DAVID BEGNAUD: Oh, mostly credit card, okay. Well, here at La Colombe in Philadelphia, you can use cash. In fact, if you look on any money you have right now, it says this note is legal tender for all debts public and private. Right. So they`ll take here. A lot of people love to tip in cash. When I buy coffee, by the way, I usually always use my phone. But here in Philly, there are some businesses that will politely tell you, sorry, we`re not going to sell to you if you only have cash. And there`s a city councilman who wants to do something about that.

(Begin VT)

DAVID BEGNAUD: Cash is no longer king at many businesses in Philadelphia. The sounds of credit card swipes are drowning out the cha-ching of the cash registers.

JOHN LONGSTREET: There`s a lot of restaurants and other businesses that want to go cashless.

DAVID BEGNAUD: John Longstreet is the president and CEO of the Pennsylvania Restaurant and Lodging Association.

Do you see an upside to cashless?

JOHN LONGSTREET: Absolutely. Because places that handle cash are less safe than those that don`t have cash on hand. Everything is reported directly into the accounting system, taxes are paid. Whereas in a cash society, taxes aren`t always paid. And consumers are getting used to it too as well. And they`re-- and they`re asking for it.

DAVID BEGNAUD: Cash is not accepted at Bluestone Lane Coffee and at Sweetgreen, the salad chain. Together they have six stores in Philadelphia. Nationwide, Dos Toros, Dig Inn, and Tender Greens now refuse paper money. Reportedly Milk Bar, Starbucks, Amazon, Walmart and Shake Shack have experimented with cashless stores recently. And that trend worries Philadelphia councilman Bill Greenlee.

BILL GREENLEE (Philadelphia Councilman): I go in to get a cup of coffee, I can get it because I have a credit card, but the person behind me that doesn`t have a credit card, is told they can`t get a cup of coffee. That-- something doesn`t seem right about that.

DAVID BEGNAUD: According to the federal government, more than fourteen million Americans don`t have bank accounts, that makes getting credit cards difficult. A recent survey by the Pew Research Center found that thirty- four percent of black people, seventeen percent of Hispanics, and twenty- nine percent of people earning less than thirty thousand dollars rely on cash for all or just about all of their purchases.

BILL GREENLEE: If it`s not discrimination, it`s elitism. I think government does have a place to protect people from not being treated fairly.

DAVID BEGNAUD: Councilman Greenlee has introduced a bill that will fine businesses in Philadelphia up to two thousand dollars if they don`t accept cash. Similar laws have been proposed in New York City, Chicago, and Washington, DC. A statewide ban on cashless stores is awaiting the governor`s signature in New Jersey. And Massachusetts has required retailers to accept cash since 1978.

JOHN LONGSTREET: I might describe it as a solution looking for a problem.

DAVID BEGNAUD: Do you see the reasoning behind the thought that cashless can also be discriminatory?

JOHN LONGSTREET: I understand how this has come about, because it would disenfranchise a certain portion of the population. We should look at it, and we should look at a compromise that allows businesses that are cashless by design in the way they do business, to continue to operate.

(End VT)

DAVID BEGNAUD: Now if the law is passed, it goes into effect in July. And it only affects brick and mortar stores like the coffee shop here, not internet retailers or membership chains like Costco. This is quite the talker. Let us know what you think, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, leave us a comment there. Bianna, what do you think about this?

BIANNA GOLODRYGA: You know, I`m torn, David. I rely on Apple Pay all the time. I don`t use cash that much.


BIANNA GOLODRYGA: But I see where, you know, it would impact a lot of people that do.


BIANNA GOLODRYGA: So again, but to your point--


BIANNA GOLODRYGA: --Norah, I`m not sure that-- that you`d want government to make the decision for you.

NORAH O`DONNELL: Well, and-- right. That business, if it stops going cashless, might go out of business, right?


NORAH O`DONNELL: So, that-- that business wants to stay in communities collecting cash. Sweet cream has made the business decision.


NORAH O`DONNELL: We don`t need to accept cash. It might be a liability for us to continue to accept the cash.


NORAH O`DONNELL: So let the businesses decide--

GAYLE KING: Yeah, the salads are good there too. And I-- and I agree with you. I think the business should decide what works best for their business model.

BIANNA GOLODRYGA: By the way, this is a trending model that banks have forecast years ago. So, we`re here. Yeah.

NORAH O`DONNELL: Right. I know.

BIANNA GOLODRYGA: David, thank you. Enjoy your coffee.


NORAH O`DONNELL: Are you on Ven-- are you on Venmo yet?

GAYLE KING: No. not yet.


BIANNA GOLODRYGA: Venmo is great too.

GAYLE KING: But I do have a credit card.




GAYLE KING: I just swipe the credit cards.

NORAH O`DONNELL: Did you have Apple Pay--

GAYLE KING: I`ve heard of Venmo.

NORAH O`DONNELL: Did you hook up the Apple Pay yet?


BIANNA GOLODRYGA: We`ll do it for you on commercial break.

GAYLE KING: Sure, Norah, I did. I`m going to give it to Norah.

JOHN DICKERSON: Yeah. She`s still very wedded to her abacus.

BIANNA GOLODRYGA: Swipe with our watches.

GAYLE KING: It works fine, John Dickerson.

BIANNA GOLODRYGA: Okay. I`m told we have to go.

Up next, a look at this morning`s other headlines including how a teenager who discovered a FaceTime bug is getting a lucrative thank you from Apple. Great story.

But first, it is seven forty-four, time to check your local weather.




Here`s a look at some of this morning`s headlines. Cbsnews.com has a rare interview done by Olivia Gazis with the Senate Intelligence Committee`s chair of the Russia investigation which just reached its second year. Republican Richard Burr said they do not have anything that would suggest there was collusion by the Trump campaign and Russia. The committee has interviewed more than two-- two hundred witnesses and reviewed more than three hundred thousand pages of documents. Burr thinks they`re nearing the end of the investigation.

NORAH O`DONNELL: The Arizona Republic says part of a long-term care facility where an incapacitated patient was raped and later gave birth is now shutting down. Hacienda HealthCare says it will close its Phoenix intermediate care center. About three dozen patients will be moved to other facilities. The decision came a day after former nurse Nathan Sutherland pleaded not guilty to sexually assaulted the twenty-nine-year-old woman.

BIANNA GOLODRYGA: The New York Times reports a year before Jamal Khashoggi was murdered, Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman said he would use a bullet on the columnist if he did not end his criticism of the government. Times sources say U.S. intelligence agencies intercepted the prince`s comments to an aide. It is the most detailed evidence that bin Salman discussed killing Khashoggi long before Saudi operatives murdered him in the consulate in Istanbul last October.

GAYLE KING: The Hollywood Reporter says that director Woody Allen is suing Amazon for terminating a movie deal. The suit claims Amazon ended the seventy-three-million-dollar agreement with Allen`s production company in the wake of renewed sexual abuse allegations against the director. Allen says there was no legitimate ground for termination since those allegations had already been made public. Amazon did not respond to requests for comment about the story.

JOHN DICKERSON: Reuters says Johnson & Johnson will be the first drug maker to add medicine prices to television ads. The company says by late next month it will include lists prices and typical out-of-pocket costs. It follows a Trump administration proposal to make drug pricing more transparent in TV advertising. The pharmaceutical industry opposes that. It says few people actually pay high-list prices.

NORAH O`DONNELL: And the Wall Street Journal reports Apple said it would reward the teenager credited with discovering a FaceTime bug. Two weeks ago, remember fourteen-year-old Grant Thompson of Arizona found that FaceTime allowed people to eavesdrop on others before a call was answered. Well, Apple has now fixed the problem. The tech giant said it plans to compensate the Thompson family and will make a gift toward Grant`s education. It declined to say how much. And good for Apple.


GAYLE KING: Good for Apple and for him. Don`t you love when a teenager is the one that cracks the code on something that people have been working on for a long period of time.



BIANNA GOLODRYGA: Well, there`s also a Texas tech worker, he`s like twenty- five years old, that also--


BIANNA GOLODRYGA: --discovered the bug a week later. They`re also paying him, too. So, good for Apple to acknowledge it.


GAYLE KING: But I still see some people say they`re afraid to use FaceTime even though it`s been worked out.

BIANNA GOLODRYGA: Well, we do it all the time.



BIANNA GOLODRYGA: Yeah. Who cares? My conversations are boring. People are eavesdropping.


BIANNA GOLODRYGA: Talking to kids.

JOHN DICKERSON: --never know the national--

BIANNA GOLODRYGA: Half of it`s in Russian. So--

BIANNA GOLODRYGA: --the National Enquirer is always listening.

GAYLE KING: Yeah. We`re glad it`s fixed and that Apple is rewarding. And it`s really great behavior.


GAYLE KING: So, we are getting ready for the Grammys around here. Have you heard? It`s Sunday night. Where is it, Bianna?


GAYLE KING: Yes. Ahead, a sneak peek at the big names who will join forces on the stage. That`s Lady Gaga. Word is Bradley Cooper is going to join her on stage. I can`t wait for that.



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