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Cash is free

Categories : Cash is a public good, Cash is trust
August 28, 2018
Tags : Australia, Cash, Electronic
Australia's note printing CEO Malcolm McDowell explains why cash must be maintained as a payment instrument regardless of the rise of alternative payments.

Cash is a public good” says CEO of Note Printing Australia, Malcolm McDowell, in his recent article “Commercial Motivations Don’t Sit Behind Cash”. And as such, he believes that it should be protected by the state the same way as access to safe drinking water.

Alternative payment methods have their advantages and convenience, but McDowell warns that “a credit card has usage and interest charges attached to it that weaken one’s buying power, and the more cards one uses the weaker one’s position becomes”. Indeed, cash is a free service provided by the government whereas electronic payments, which are motivated by a commercial endeavor, come with a cost.

Users cannot “own” electronic payment methods like they can cash because they are run by commercial entities. Indeed, these entities actually benefit from their users as the data collected on their behalf helps them “inform future marketing campaigns, making sales offers to new and existing customers to incentivize the use of additional credit cards or acceptance of higher credit limits.”

Alternative payments are a service consumers pay for. In today’s world, the consumer is free to choose to use electronic payments with the knowledge that a price tag is also linked to the perceived benefits; but the consumer can also choose to use cash – and that’s something that should remain because, as McDowell says, cash is a “free service [that] is part of a public infrastructure that everyone in society can use and access”.

This post is also available in: Spanish