UK Treasury accused of anti-cash bias
The Chairman of Cash and Card World has hit out at the UK Treasury consultation, ‘Cash and digital payments in the new economy’.
Ron Delnevo, also the founder of Bank Machine, has slammed the “anti-cash” document, which closes in June and floats doing away with 1p and 2p coins, for erroneously implying that only the poor or criminals need to use notes and coins. “This ignores the majority of the population who choose to use cash for their own entirely legitimate and lawful reasons. Reasons such as wishing to be independent, have real personal freedom without the need for constant third party authorisation and, of course, a little privacy,” he argues.
He adds that, “with all the millions being spent by card schemes, their partner banks and app promoters on marketing, the public are almost bound to be seduced/persuaded to use digital payment methods more. The only thing likely to stop this would be huge online frauds, which would rightly frighten the public.”
Delnevo concedes that people are increasingly using cards and other payment methods. But he believes that most of the reasons for doing so have simply been hyped by the card schemes and other non-cash payment “pushers”. “The genuine overall benefits to the average consumer are often non-existent or, at best, significantly exaggerated. For example, queuing time in retail establishments has not reduced significantly, simply because most people are not ready to pay when they reach the check-out. It is the search for payment methods in handbags, wallets and pockets that causes delays,” he comments.
He adds: “Only a couple of countries in the world are seeing a decline in cash in circulation. In countries where there are declines, these have usually been created by manipulation of supply by anti-cash vested interests e.g. Sweden. To follow their example would be against the interests of the British public. The Swedish government is now considering forcing banks to offer cash services at every branch. The UK government should consider taking the same step. Cash still accounts for 85% of retail payments worldwide and the European Central Bank recently issued survey results showing 79% of household purchases are still made using cash.”
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