July 20, 2019

Senate passes Conley legislation to protect the rights of customers to pay with cash

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State House — The State Senate today passed legislation introduced by Sen. William J. Conley Jr. (D-Dist. 18, East Providence, Pawtucket) that would protect the rights of customers to pay for things in cash.

“This is a consumer protection bill,” said Senator Conley, who chairs the Senate Finance Committee. “Credit-card only policies are discriminatory to the old, the young and the poor. They can also be used to track spending history to build a profile and make identity theft easier. Those who wish to avoid all that by paying in cash should not be penalized.”

The legislation (2019-S 0889) would make it unlawful for any retail establishment offering goods or services for sale to discriminate against a prospective customer by requiring the use of credit for purchase of goods or services.

According to a survey by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, about 8 percent of households have no bank account and only 75 percent of American adults have credit cards.

“Credit card-only policies are also age-discriminatory, since only adults can get credit cards,” said Senator Conley. “This is a troubling trend, and this bill will put a stop to it.”

The measure now moves to the House of Representatives, which has passed similar legislation (2019-H 5116A) sponsored by Rep. Mia Ackerman (D-Dist. 45, Cumberland, Lincoln).

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