The ATM Industry Association has accused the anti-cash lobby of peddling "fake news" in a desperate attempt to promote the use of non-cash tech and card-based alternatives to drive financial inclusion efforts.
The accusations come as the ATMIA present the results of a global study highlighting the importance of cash and ATMs in reaching two billion financially excluded persons who have no bank account, including case studies in Kenya, the UK, Brazil and the Philippines.
The paper, researched and written by Paris-based Agis Consulting, defines the abiding role of cash in an electronic age, especially for more disadvantaged people.
The study’s author, Guillaume Lepecq, believes that a transition away from cash would only serve to isolate the unbanked and the underserved from the rest of the population.
“As cash is the only form of payment devoid of any prerequisite conditions for access, efforts to liberate people from financial exclusion should, instead, encourage its use,” the paper states.
Mike Lee, CEO of ATMIA, points out that people trust cash as a store of value and it remains a means of payment that can be used by absolutely anyone at any time.
“This is the best paper I’ve seen on the truth about financial inclusion in the midst of reams of fake news generated in recent years by the anti-cash lobby,” he says. “It argues persuasively, in a fact-based approach, that removing cash from campaigns to include the unbanked in financial services would represent a gargantuan governmental folly, creating unbridgeable social and class divides in future.”