In addition to its reputation for creative salad combinations and long lunchtime lines, the fast-casual chain Sweetgreen is also known for its innovative but controversial cashless payment system. The no-cash policy at Sweetgreen locations, in place for several years now, has been ensnared in a growing backlash against the trend of retail establishments spurning cash. As a result, Sweetgreen announced yesterday that it would start accepting cash in all of its locations by the end of 2019.

“Ultimately, we have realized that while being cashless has advantages, today it is not the right solution to fulfill our mission,” Sweetgreen said in a statement on Medium. “To accomplish our mission, everyone in the community needs to have access to real food.”

Sweetgreen’s reversal comes as the City Council considers legislation that would ban retail establishments from turning away cash payments from customers. The bill, introduced by Council Member Ritchie Torres in February, argues that retail businesses are effectively discriminating against people without cards—who tend to be low-income people of color. In New York City, 17 percent of Black residents are “unbanked,” as are 14 percent of Latinx residents; by contrast, only 3 percent of New York’s white population is.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, there’s a direct correlation between New York City’s poorest neighborhoods and areas with the least amount of bank branches. “Cashless institutions encourage a FinTech Jim Crow by restricting the places where people of color can shop, eat, and receive basic services,” said Edgard Laborde, deputy political director of the Retail Wholesale Department Store Union (RWDSU), in a statement at the New York City Council hearing on February 14.

Sweetgreen first introduced cashless payments—via credit card, debit card, or their app—back in 2016, citing improved safety for their employees who would no longer have to handle cash, and improved efficiency (estimating that up to 15% more transactions would happen in an hour). If the City Council’s legislation passes, fast-food establishments like Sweetgreen could face fines up to $500 for each violation. In a statement to City Lab, Torres said: “In the end, I think the need for equity outweighs the efficiency gains of a cashless business model. Human rights takes precedence over efficiency gains.”

Defenders of cashless shopping—which will likely generate $190 billion in transactions nationwide this year—argue that since over 40 percent of Americans don’t carry cash anyway, this method is harmless. Torres counters, “If you have the money you should be able to use it. Cash is the great equalizer and the universal mode of currency. Not everyone accesses credit or debit, but everyone uses cash at some time in their life.”

Last month, Philadelphia and New Jersey passed laws banning cash-only systems for retailers; Chicago, Washington D.C., San Francisco, and possibly New York City are expected to follow suit.