Thursday, March 07, 2019


My fair city is banning cashless stores. The general consensus is the ordinance was passed to save our beloved local institution of Wawa from Amazon. But I wonder how is a cashless store legal under federal law? Hasn't anyone ever read the fine print on an American greenback?

31 U.S.C. §5103 requires U.S. currency to be accepted "for all debts, public charges, taxes, and dues." The Department of Treasury seems to have taken the position that this does not require private businesses in the U.S. to accept U.S. currency. But why wouldn't "all debts" in the statute include debts incurred to private businesses? Plus the language on U.S. bills is even clearer, it applies to debts "public and private."

Is this just one of those things where the law is pretty clear but no one actually minds if a store is cashless do no one bothers to make the law an issue?

Except, in this case, Wawa minds. Go get 'em Wawa!