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Philadelphia Bans ‘Cashless’ Stores Amid Growing Backlash

In a sign of the growing backlash against “cashless” stores around the country, the City of Philadelphia will require retailers to accept legal tender starting this summer.Retail outlets that have stopped accepting cash say it is faster and easier for their employees to process digital payments. But critics say the practice discriminates against people without bank accounts or credit cards, or who simply prefer to pay cash.City Councilman Bill Greenlee, a co-sponsor of the bill, said it would ensure fairness as residents complete everyday transactions.“It just seemed to me unfair that I could walk into a coffee shop right across from City Hall, and I had a…

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This Legislation Could Force Stores to Take Your Cash

Stores and restaurants in several states would be required to do something pretty basic if certain lawmakers have their way: accept their customers’ cash.The legislation comes amid a worldwide move toward “cashless payments” using cards or mobile devices, which supporters say are safer, quicker and more convenient. But critics say an outright ban on cash discriminates against those without credit or bank accounts, and raises concerns about privacy and data security.The New Jersey Legislature and the Philadelphia City Council have passed measures this year that would ban cashless stores. New York City, Washington and Chicago are weighing similar bills.“It’s important to recognize the fact that not everyone…

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The ‘Neo-Banks’ Are Finally Having Their Moment

SAN FRANCISCO — After the financial crisis 10 years ago, unhappy customers were expected to flee the megabanks for smaller competitors.It didn’t happen. And the big banks became even more entrenched.Now another wave of alternative banks are at it again, and they say they’ve learned from the mistakes of the upstart banks that tried — and failed — before them.Chime, the biggest new name to pop up, has opened two million fee-free online checking accounts and is adding more customers each month than Wells Fargo or Citibank.That has inspired a crop of newer start-ups, like Empower, which started its first fee-free online checking accounts, with lots of…

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Google Is Said to Be Shopping for More Real Estate in New York

SAN FRANCISCO — Amazon may not be the only technology giant considering a big expansion in New York.Google is in discussions to move into a planned 1.3 million square foot office complex at the St. John’s Terminal building on Manhattan’s West Side, according to a person with knowledge of the company’s plans but not permitted to speak about it publicly.The property, which is expected to be completed in 2022, would allow the internet giant to significantly increase its presence in the city. Google employs around 7,000 in New York, and a space that size could allow it to more than double its local work force.The potential expansion,…

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Uber and Lyft Charge Toward Potential I.P.O.s Next Year

Uber and Lyft have for years battled for customers in the fast-growing ride-hailing business. Now the bitter rivals may fight for investors in their initial public offerings.Uber has received proposals from the investment banks Morgan Stanley and Goldman Sachs that say the technology giant could be worth as much as $120 billion in an I.P.O., two people briefed on the matter who were not allowed to discuss it publicly said on Tuesday.At $120 billion, Uber’s debut on Wall Street would be the biggest since the Alibaba Group of China began trading on the New York Stock Exchange in 2014.The market for tech I.P.O.s has surged in 2018.…

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U.S. Credit Card Giants Flout India’s New Law on Personal Data

Amazon, which operates an India-only payments service that uses elements of its global technology platform, said in a statement: “Compliance with local laws and regulation is a top priority for us in all the countries we operate in. We continue to work closely with the regulator towards this.”The R.B.I., an agency akin to the Federal Reserve in the United States, has said little about why it decided that Indian financial data must be stored only in India. In its April order, it said, “In order to ensure better monitoring, it is important to have unfettered supervisory access to data stored with these system providers.”Its policy changed as…

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App-Only Banks Rise in Europe and Aim at Traditional Lenders

Last year, Monzo’s losses quadrupled to £33.1 million. The company is developing a marketplace where customers can shop for financial services offered by other firms, with Monzo collecting a fee. In the meantime, it makes some money from overdraft and A.T.M. charges, and is experimenting with giving out short-term loans of up to £1,000.As they expand, these start-ups will also face more regulatory scrutiny and targeting by fraudsters. Traditional banks must ensure, for example, that a certain proportion of the deposits they hold are kept in reserve, as a safety net. Such policies help guarantee that a bank will not lose its customers’ money, but they make…

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Tech We’re Using: When Cryptocurrencies Fluctuate, He Uses These Tech Tools to Keep Track

How do New York Times journalists use technology in their jobs and in their personal lives? Nathaniel Popper, who covers cryptocurrencies and financial technology for The Times from San Francisco, discussed the tech he’s using.There are many cryptocurrencies and they often fluctuate in value. What tech products do you use to keep your finger on the pulse?Most conversations about cryptocurrencies tend to start with the price, and there are now countless services that track the ups and downs of the thousands of digital tokens out there.The most popular site, Coinmarketcap.com, was briefly getting more visits than The Wall Street Journal’s home page last winter. My personal favorite…

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Replace ‘Tech’ With ‘Banks,’ and We’ve Seen a Big Comeuppance Before

SAN FRANCISCO — When I moved to the Bay Area two years ago, it was with a sense of relief.Relief from New York winters and deteriorating subways, yes. But also relief after six years of covering Wall Street, an industry that had moved from one crisis to another after the financial crash of 2008, drawing the unending wrath of the public.In California I was joining a growing team of reporters covering Silicon Valley, which had quickly become the new engine of the economy. Just like Wall Street before it lost its luster, the tech industry had become the destination of choice for the top college graduates. I…

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Uber Appoints New Head of Finance as It Marches Toward an I.P.O.

SAN FRANCISCO — After a yearslong search, Uber has finally found a chief financial officer as it advances toward an initial public offering.The ride-hailing company said Tuesday that it had hired Nelson J. Chai, 53, a former executive at Merrill Lynch and CIT Group, to be its new chief financial officer. The appointment fills a prominent void in Uber’s executive suite: The job had been vacant since Brent Callinicos departed in 2015.Picking a chief financial officer is crucial for Uber because the company has said it plans to go public by the end of 2019, in what is likely to be one of the biggest-ever technology I.P.O.s.…

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