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Cash News: January 1-9

Categories : Cash has legal tender status, Cash is the first step of financial inclusion, Cash is the most widely used product
January 9, 2023
Tags : Access to cash, Bitcoin, coin, Demonetisation
Elsewhere on the Web provides weekly updates and links to articles related to cash, money and payments curated on the web.
Guillaume Lepecq

Chair, CashEssentials

This post is also available in: Spanish

Manuel A. Bautista-González (translation/traducción)

Ph.D. in U.S. History, Columbia University in the City of New York

Post-Doctoral Researcher in Global Correspondent Banking, 1870-2000 – Mexico and South America, University of Oxford

This post is also available in: Spanish


Here are some of the highlights since January 1.

U.K.: Right to Access Cash Will Soon Be Enshrined in Law

In an op-ed published in The Telegraph, the Economic Secretary to the Treasury, Andrew Griffith, writes, “2023 will see communities benefit from a regulated right of access to cash, enshrined in law via the Financial Services and Markets Bill currently going through Parliament. It will cover withdrawals and the ability to make cash deposits, which is particularly important to small businesses.”

Italy, India & the Bumpy Road to Cashless Payments

The Financial Times’s correspondent in Rome, Amy Kazmin – who previously lived in India – compares the Indian and Italian policies to nudge consumers away from cash. The controversial Indian demonetization of 2016 is described as a bizarre experiment “which had Indians queueing for weeks at banks to exchange their useless old notes for newly printed ones.”

In Italy, since mid-2022, businesses have been required to accept card payments and face a penalty of €30 plus 4% of the transaction value if they refuse.  Italian prime minister Giorgia Meloni proposed to drop the obligation for transactions below €60. The initiative was abandoned after criticism from the European Commission and the Bank of Italy, which called it counter to Italy’s pledge to fight tax evasion.

“I get that Meloni — never a fan of big banks — wanted to side with small business owners raging against big capital. Yet Italy, with its precarious public finances, cannot afford to drive economic activity underground, beyond the taxman’s reach,” writes Kazmin.

India: Supreme Court Validates Demonetisation

According to Zee Business, the controversial decision by Prime Minister Narendra Modi to demonetize notes of 500 and 1,000 rupees in 2016 was upheld by India’s Supreme Court, with a 4:1 majority, asserting that the decision-making process had not been flawed nor hasty. The Court had received fifty-eight petitions challenging the demonetization.

Justice B.V. Nagarathna dissented from the majority judgment and said, “Parliament should have discussed the law on demonetisation, the process should not have been done through a gazette notification. Parliament cannot be left aloof on an issue of such critical importance for the country.”

Israel: Silver Coins Were Used as Money 3,600 Years Ago

The Jerusalem Post reports that archaeologists have found silver coins made in Anatolia (Turkey) in the 17th century BC at various digging sites in Israel. “Their discovery proves the use of silver coins as money in the southern Levant and precedes by 500 years what was thought to be the use of such coins.” writes the Post.

Lunar New Year Fuels Demand for New Banknotes

Red envelopes containing cash, called lai see in Cantonese (利是 or 利事) and hong bao in Mandarin (紅包), are a traditional gift exchanged during the celebration of the Lunar New Year, which falls on January 22, 2023. The envelope symbolizes a wish for luck for the recipient.

Long queues were seen at some branches of the three note-issuing banks in Hong Kong, HSBC, Standard Chartered, and Bank of China, according to The Standard. Some people said they had exchanged more new banknotes for handing out red envelopes this year as they expect to meet more relatives and friends after the city lifted Covid-19 curbs. reports that long queues are forming at ATMs in Singapore, including DBS pop-up-ATMS dedicated to issuing new notes for the Lunar Year. The pop-up ATMs received CashEssentials‘s Best CashTech Award in 2022. This year, to reduce carbon emissions from issuing new notes, the Monetary Authority of Singapore encourages people to adopt ‘fit-for-gifting’ notes of similar quality.

Bitcoin ATMs

According to, the United States remains the dominant leader in bitcoin ATMs, with 88%, or 33,041 devices out of 38,609, installed in the country. However, the US has seen negative growth for the first time, with 188 ATMs or 0.6% of the fleet, removed last year.

Canada follows the US with 2,558 crypto ATMs, or 6.6% of the total. Spain is the third largest hub, albeit far behind, with 226 units. Australia is in 4th position with 219 crypto ATMs and has overtaken El Salvador with 212.

Elsewhere on the Web

Here’s what’s new and curated on the web since January 1.

January 4–9, 2023

January 1–4, 2023

This post is also available in: Spanish