Rep. Payne, Jr. Introduces Payment Choice Act to Protect Cash

July 9, 2021
Press Release

Media Contact:  Patrick Wright   --  Patrick.Wright@mail.house.gov

Washington, D.C. — Rep. Donald M. Payne, Jr. introduced a bill today to protect American currency as a form of payment for goods and services.  The bill, the Payment Choice Act, would make it illegal for retail businesses to reject cash for in-person, consumer transactions at stores across the country.  The bipartisan bill has 28 co-sponsors.   

“There are too many stores and businesses that want to reject American cash in favor of digital payments,” said Rep. Donald M. Payne, Jr.  “But cash is the only option available for millions of Americans to pay for food, housing and other essentials.  In addition, I have serious concerns about the safety and privacy of the data that companies are collecting from consumers during routine purchases.  Besides, there are few things more American than cash.  A few years ago, we were fighting over who should be represented on our bills.  Now, it seems companies are more than ready to get rid of them entirely.”    

Rep. Payne, Jr. introduced the bill to protect American currency due to several issues concerning digital payments.  Currently, there are 55 million Americans who lack a bank account or credit card and need to use cash to pay for their necessities.  These Americans would be left out of the economy completely if cash is banned.  Privacy is another concern when customers use digital payments.  Data collection is a $200 billion industry and recent company data breaches in the U.S. and worldwide have revealed private information on millions of customers.  In addition, cash is the only way to pay for items during a natural disaster.  If a hurricane or other catastrophe were to knock out a power grid anywhere in the country, Americans would not be able to pay for critical, life-saving supplies to protect them and their families.          

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