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News Roundup: Bank Exec Warns Small Biz About Cashless

September 6, 2019 Updated: September 8, 2020

Even Bankers Know: Cash and Cashless Have to Coexist

Warning of cost, the CEO of ConnectOne Bank is cautioning small retailers against the push for cashless. In a new Forbes piece, Frank Sorrentino warns that businesses may be too quick to jump on the “efficiencies” of a cashless business. In addition to increased expenses and transaction costs that come with accepting only cards, consumers are increasingly wary of privacy violations that come with solely digital transactions.

He also says that cashless schemes “punish” some consumers: “Someone should be able to buy a cup of coffee or a bag of groceries no matter their credit score.”

A new study from UK Finance backs up his worries, saying that as many as 25 million people in that country may be negatively affected by the move to cashless and three-quarters of consumers are concerned about privacy and security with virtual payments.

New York Predicted to Lose 500,000 Jobs to Automation

Policy experts in New York City are warning leaders about the need to be better prepared for job losses from automation. The city could lose a half-million jobs in a “swift and destabilizing” move to automation in the near future. These thought leaders argue that comprehensive planning can’t wait for a big national change or from leadership on a national level.
Instead, they argue that local specific plans are needed to help mitigate the impacts on the local workforce. When it comes to the future of work, leaders at every level (federal, state, and local) need to prepare their workforce to overcome these threats to jobs and the economy.

Worker Protections Aren’t Ready for an Automated Future

Jobs in America have already rapidly changed and laws to protect workers simply haven’t kept pace. That’s according to a professor at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill. “Decades old and…rarely updated,” current laws leave many workers without adequate protections against workplace abuses.

Failure to update these laws will result or has already resulted in A.I. based discrimination in hiring and firing, inadequate privacy protections for workers and increasingly precarious employment. In a fast-changing economy, it’s clear these workers need strong safeguards and protections from regulators and elected leaders.

Port Automation Kills Local Economies

Automating ports in the U.S. could damage local economies. A new study from Prism Economics shows that full or partial automation of container terminals could result in job losses and a reduction in local tax revenue. In Canadian communities where automation is already under consideration for ports, port jobs represent a significant share of the high-paying jobs in the region.

Number of the Week: 300

That’s the number of milliseconds it would take for Amazon’s technology to scan your handprint for in-store transactions. According to a new report, the multi-billion-dollar corporation is testing the payment platform in its New York offices with the goal of rolling it out at its Whole Foods locations in the coming months. With millions of customers shopping at hundreds of Whole Foods stores, this is yet another way that Amazon is raising privacy concerns as it continues to stockpile sensitive data from consumers around the country. (


Any upcoming stories about the impact of automation on the retail industry and the economy?

If you’re interested in speaking with UFCW, email awhite@www.ufcw.org for a quote, statistics, or interviews with workers in retail and other sectors of the economy.