When Fenway Park announced it would go cashless, there were many fans to cheered on the new technology at the old ballpark. But for the Massachusetts Attorney General’s office, it was important to know how the policy would work and if it fit with state law.
“We just want to make sure that everybody has an ability to access goods and services in the state,” Healey told NBC10 Boston and NECN.
The Boston Red Sox announced that cash would no longer be accepted at Fenway Park concession stands for the 2022 season ahead of the home opener. On Monday, Attorney General Maura Healey’s office said they were looking into whether the new policy was against the law, specifically citing MGL c 255D Section 10A.
"No retail establishment offering goods and services for sale shall discriminate against a cash buyer by requiring the use of credit by a buyer in order to purchase such goods and services," the law reads. "All such retail establishments must accept legal tender when offered as payment by the buyer."
On Tuesday Healey said that her office has had talks with the team about the new policy, and that it is in accordance with the law, noting that there was no need for a formal investigation.
“The law says that people need to be able to go in and make purchases using legal tender. Traditionally that was known as cash, but as long as there are systems that are in place that allow for the use of cash, essentially through these cards that’s gonna, we think, work out.
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Fenway’s new policy allows fans to purchase pre-paid cards with cash that they can then use at concession stands. Healey said as long as that option remains available, and that no personal information is being stored, then the policy fits with the law.
"I get in trouble because some places they don't except a debit card or credit card. They just want cash," said one woman running to work in Jamaica Plain.
"Right now, we are already quite cashless. When's the last time you used a paper note or coins?" asked Anurag Wakhlu, a finance lecturer at Bentley University.
he benefits and disadvantages of online currency exchange are varied. On the plus side, it's more convenient, it helps keep better records of spending and it makes international transactions are easier. The downside is personal data could be exposed and spending may be less difficult while poorer and older people are left behind.
"Suddenly, you're increasing the inequality. The economic inequality, by saying, 'OK, we're only going to go cashless,'" Wakhlu said.
Healey also noted that this is an example of the laws can be adapted and looked at as we adopt new technologies.