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We already live in a (mostly) cashless world. If you, like me, live and work in a developed country you are by all accounts already living in as cashless world and without noticing it, have been for quite a number of years now. My own cash usage has dwindled
to drawing a small amount from my local ATM (monthly now, though it used to bi-weekly a couple of years ago) just to cover those odd occasions when a card or other cashless instrument is either not acceptable or (heaven forbid) won’t work. Whether you can
legislate cash away – well that is another story.
It is not a matter of 'legislating cash away'. If the Danish Chamber of Commerce is asking the Danish government to do this on behalf of the many businesses it represents and even then, as a voluntary exercise in favour of non-cash alternatives, how is that
compulsory? It is more a case of gradual evolution away from cash to its alternatives such as credit cards, debit cards, the internet, computers and smartphones.
It is what the majority of business people and the vast majority of members of the public in Denmark and in places like Sweden have got used to over time and has in effect, voted with their feet because it is a cheaper way to run a business. You cannot stop
technology or its pervasive effects on all of us, especially when the gradual change to a cashless society has so many inbuilt economic and crime-preventing benefits, as well as convenience and making purchasing a better experience for consumers.
Having lived in Silicon Valley in the U.S. for over 20 years now, I definitely agree with your points about technology's pervasive impact on our lives. Yes--the politicians in Denmark would likely not support this proposal if the majority of Danish merchants
and/or citizens would not support. Our industry's collective challenge is to get more countries to evolve to reach this state. Still a LONG way to go...
Will Quisk ever come to other countries outside of the United States? I would like to have a look at it with a view to possibly using it but I live in Australia.
There is a regulatory push to actually eliminate cash - governments appear to have an incentive to go cashless. See this article from Bloomberg Businessweek:
It is simply unacceptable that any bank can charge people negative interest rates while banks will use their money to lend to other parties via mortgages and commercial loans in order to generate profit. It seems that the banks have come to feel that they
are omnipotent and that they may as well push the envelope in whatever way they can to make ever more obscene profits. The ordinary person in the street will not tolerate any interest rate below zero for their hard earned money. Even if zero interest rates
are legal, they will not happen in an economy that has genuine competition between banks that are not behaving like a cartel or a monopoly.
Should the banks insist that this is the new normal, we are looking at mass demonstrations followed by national laws making negative interest rates illegal. This story seems to have been concocted by desperate people who have seen the potential threat to
cash by technological advances in payments, and have decided to launch a fear campaign. A last gasp effort is underway to keep cash as a permanent part of our economy. The closer that we get to a cashless society the greater the chance that we will see desperate
lunatics of the far right come out of the woodwork, in order to put fear into the idea of removing cash from our lives.
Read the article carefully - for you and I the option to withdraw our cash and stuff it in mattresses prevents banks from breaking zero. But for large institutions and banks lending among themselves, this is where there seems to be the outbreak of negative
rates. From the article, "The European Central Bank, struggling to ignite growth, has a deposit rate of –0.2 percent. The Swiss National Bank, which worries that a rise of the Swiss franc will hurt trade, has a deposit rate of –0.75 percent. On April 21 the
cost for banks to borrow from each other in euros (the euro interbank offered rate, or Euribor) tipped negative for the first time." The debate on this site has been when will cash die for a long time. It seems to me that the governments pushing cash to
be eliminated is the first real threat that it may come true. Then will we have the power to avoid negative rates???
I have read the every word of the article by Peter Coy entitled, 'The Death of Cash', on your link to Bloomberg Business very carefully. It is a thought bubble masquerading as a fear campaign about the eventual end of cash, and a story about the banking
system putting their toes in the water to determine if they can make money with depositor's accounts by charging each other and other businesses first. This article can be categorised as bankrupt puffery.
Prominent German economist Professor Peter Bofinger has stated that he supports Germany and the rest of the EU to become cashless for a variety of reasons. I take it that he has thought about this issue before making his public statement.