The ATM Industry Association today published a position paper recommending the removal of international restrictions on payments in cash, especially caps which forbid transactions exceeding a certain amount from being settled in cash.
“It seems to be absurd to discriminate against cash in this manner when over 80% of global retail payments today are still made using cash,” commented Mike Lee, CEO of ATMIA. “Why cap cash payments when there is so much more to lose than to gain?”
In the position paper, the non-profit trade association lists examples of cash restrictions which several countries have imposed and argues that there is no evidence that these caps on cash payments have reduced tax evasion, curbed the shadow economy or combatted crime and terrorist financing. The paper then describes significant negative consequences of the restrictions such as lost sales, damage to small businesses and entrepreneurs and the undermining of financial and social inclusion.
“In a similar vein we oppose enforced restrictions on ATM cash withdrawals and on private cash holdings by free, law-abiding citizens,” Lee stated. “It should be remembered that the vast majority of cash transactions are legitimate and it makes no sense to target cash use and cash users in this somewhat arbitrary way.”
The new paper was based on original research by Guillaume Lepecq, Managing Director of AGIS Consulting (France) (www.agis-consulting.com) and was peer reviewed by Ron Delnevo, Executive Director of ATMIA Europe, and Debbie Smyth, the association’s International Industry Adviser.