Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

While Big Tech is increasingly on board with helping Americans emulate the rest of the world on cashless payments, there's a growing backlash at home against stores that don't take cash.

What's happening: The push against cashless is reaching companies.

It began in Philadelphia and has since spread to New York, D.C., Chicago, San Francisco and beyond.

  • An Amazon spokesperson told Axios the company is exploring a cash option at its Go stores.
  • Standard Cognition, a Silicon Valley startup that outfits existing stores with automated checkout, said it is doing the same.

The big picture: As we've reported, the U.S. still leans on cash. Around 30% of all U.S. business is still done in cash, not credit cards — some 14 million Americans have no bank account.

  • Over the last two years or so, Chinese tech giants Alibaba and JD.com have wholly eliminated checkout in hundreds of stores. American counterparts Amazon and Walmart, meanwhile, are only starting to debut such technology in a few flagship locations.
  • But unlike in China, local U.S. movements are working to keep cash alive.

The bottom line: While adding cash could make these futuristic bodegas accessible to millions more Americans, it will add hiccups to the streamlined “just walk out” checkout model that many of these companies originally touted.

Go deeper

Newsrooms abandoned as pandemic drags on

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Facing enormous financial pressure and uncertainty around reopenings, media companies are giving up on their years-long building leases for more permanent work-from-home structures. Others are letting employees work remotely for the foreseeable future.

Why it matters: Real estate is often the most expensive asset that media companies own. And for companies that don't own their space, it's often the biggest expense.

Dark clouds envelop feel-good Pinterest

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

Pinterest set out to be a bright spot in cutthroat Silicon Valley, but now stands to see its reputation forever tarnished by allegations of mistreatment and a toxic culture by women who held senior roles at the company.

Why it matters: Even a company known for progressive policy decisions and successfully combatting hateful and otherwise problematic content isn't immune to the systemic problems that have plagued many tech companies.

Big Tech pushes voter initiatives to counter misinformation

Illustration: Rebecca Zisser/Axios

Tech giants are going all in on civic engagement efforts ahead of November's election to help protect themselves in case they're charged with letting their platforms be used to suppress the vote.

Why it matters: During the pandemic, there's more confusion about the voting process than ever before. Big tech firms, under scrutiny for failing to stem misinformation around voting, want to have concrete efforts they can point to so they don't get blamed for letting an election be manipulated.