ATMIA throws support behind bans on cashless businesses

 In News

The ATM Industry Association has confirmed its support for efforts to ban cashless retail businesses in New York City, Philadelphia and Washington, D.C.

At least two states are also said to be considering similar proposals, according to an ATMIA press release. These efforts have focused on the potential disenfranchisement of poor and unbanked consumers by retailers’ refusal to accept cash as a form of payment.

However, the issue is far broader than this, ATMIA Executive Director David Tente said in the release.

“Cashless retail severely limits consumer payment choice and eliminates the favored payment method for 26 percent of the population, according to Federal Reserve numbers,” he said. “And industry data indicates that 45 percent of consumers prefer using cash for purchases in local retail establishments.”

Even those with a vested interest in a cashless environment should consider factors besides payment choice. For instance, in times of crisis cash is often the only option, the release said. Additionally, payment networks can crash and power systems can fail making cash an essential backup option for payment.

In further support of current and future legislative efforts, ATMIA plans to issue a position paper on the subject in the near future. Advocacy plans for 2019 include significant and continued attention to the ongoing importance of cash and its part in promoting financial inclusion, ATMIA said.

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