Australia must follow other nations protecting cash - November 21, 2023
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Australia must follow other nations protecting cash

Tuesday, November 21, 2023

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by Jason Bryce

 

Now there's three inquiries - and we're saying all of them must recommend protecting cash

There are now three federal government or senate inquiries that affect cash and all three now have no alternative but to recommend ways to protect our right to use and access cash.

But first some good news, Australians are continuing to use cash and the cashless society increasingly seems to be just a myth.

The latest data from the Reserve Bank of Australia shows that ATM cash withdrawals were up by 260,000 to 29.2 million in September 2023.

The number or value of ATM cash withdrawals in Australia per month has not changed substantially since the end of COVID-19 lockdowns.

Meanwhile, 424 bank branches and 718 bank-owned ATMs have disappeared so Australians are looking for cash and trying hard to find cash access points.

There is a feeling that there is a plan to herd us cashless against our will. That's not good for social cohesion and trust and can lead to fake news. Thankfully, there is no President Biden plan to take the world cashless.

But there is the ever-growing Chinese social credit system that is now affecting people outside China. Here is an article for people doing business in China about how to score highly on the social credit system.

Here is a reputable article on how companies should advise their employees travelling to China about the social credit system.

In Australia, big institutions and multi-national companies want our fees and valuable data. We need to show the politicians that cash is national economic infrastructure.

If we allow the cash system to be dismantled, it can't be turned back on instantly when needed.

We can win this war on cash and enshrine our freedom to choose how we pay. 


Optus Network Outage Inquiry

Last week I made a submission to the Senate's Optus Outage Inquiry from Cash Welcome. You can read it here.

We all know what happened on Wednesday 8th October when Optus left much of Australia unable to make purchases or accept payments.

The impact of outages on individuals, businesses and the economy is magnified by a lack of cash access points in local communities. When cash is not in general circulation and easily accessible, whole suburbs and towns can grind to a halt, unable to make the simplest financial transactions.

Here is our appearance talking about this on Sunrise last Thursday morning.

This is an interview with Tony Moclair on 3AW "Optus was a wakeup call but we've lost control of our information" from 22.00 minutes in.


Strategic Plan for Payments

Treasury's Strategic Plan for Australia's Payment System must now conclude that cash is essential national economic infrastructure and protect our right to access and use cash.

Cash Welcome made a submission. Check it out here. and feel free to copy or use our information for your own submission.

Here is the original media release from Treasurer Jim Chalmers.


Inquiry into bank branch closures

The Senate's Rural and regional Affairs Committee's inquiry into bank branch closures is also looking at access to cash. ATMIA and I have met with Senator Linda White (ALP, Vic) who is supportive and accepted our petition. Cash Welcome also made a submission to this inquiry. You can read it here.

The media is interested and responding to community concern about declining access to cash.

Our petition

All our submissions are pointing to what our growing petition is calling for:

1) A right to choose cash to buy food and essential groceries at physical retailers (like supermarkets).

2) A right to access cash in our local community.

Our petition calling for an Australian Banking and Cash Guarantee is still live and collecting signatures. Please sign it and share it widely through your networks (don't donate to the change.org site):

https://www.change.org/BankingAndCashGuarantee

These are NOT radical reforms. Other countries are protecting cash.

This is popular - most Australians want to retain access to cash in their local community.

With a right to use cash and/or a right to access cash, the cash distribution industry can plan for a viable long term future.


This link to our latest update to our petition supporters:

If you read, watch or listen to the mainstream media, you will hearing our voice standing for our right to use and access cash.

We are now recognised by journalists as a spokesperson for the millions of Australians and businesses that trust and rely on cash.

Here is Cash Welcome in the media from the last couple of weeks:

talking about reliability in payments 

talking about the Optus Outage 

talking about the cashless society

talking about cashless checkouts

'exposing cost of cashless society'

and getting the accountants on board.

Government, regulators and the media are all important to us in promoting and ensuring the future of cash.

But the decisions that are made at the retail point of sale are obviously the key front-line in this battle. 

Other nations are protecting cash

The United Kingdom has just guaranteed local access to cash for all citizens.

The UK government expects banks to provide an ATM within three miles of the vast majority of all citizens. His Majesty's Treasury announced on 18 August 2023:
 

"The vast majority of people and businesses are set to be no further than three miles away from withdrawing cash under a new framework set out by the Treasury.

A government statement published today (18 August 2023) set the minimum expectations on banks to protect services for people and businesses wanting to withdraw or deposit cash.

They can expect to withdraw cash without any fees – something that has been set out in law."

Cash usage is widespread in the Euro zone.

Cash acceptance at the retail point of sale is law throughout Europe.

The European Union has a strategy to protect cash. But some countries don't believe this is enough and are acting by themselves and going further to protect the rights of their citizens to access and use cash.

Retailers in France must also comply with a French mandate to accept cash which is enforceable by police. France has a cash strategy.

The Banque de France says:


"Banknotes and coins are still the most frequently used means of payment in Europe and in France.... 95% of businesses in France accept cash, of which 99% intended to continue to do so in the years to come... In France, net banknote issuance reached €198 billion in December 2022, up 7.5% year-on-year."

The Austrian President has flagged a referendum to enshrine cash rights in the Austrian constitution. Cash is the most popular payment method in Austria.

Sweden is the most cashless economy in the world. In 2022, the Swedish Riksbank became subject to new regulations requiring it to ensure ATM access to cash in all local communities.

A bipartisan bill before US Congress, introduced by New Jersey Democrat Donald Payne and Tennessee Republican John Rose, seeks to ban businesses from rejecting cash for in-person retail purchases .Read more about the bill here.

Washington DC has banned cashless retail

Washington D.C. banned cashless retailers back in 2018 but has just started enforcing that ban with fines from 1 October 2023:

Bans on cashless retailers are rolling through the USA with cities leading the way. Key among their concerns are the rights of marginalised and poor people.

Since 2020, New York City has banned cashless retailers.

The first instances of fines for cashless retailers began appearing in the media in 2021.

San Francisco banned cashless retail in 2019, including Berkeley, and fines shops that don't comply.

Now Los Angeles is following suit. The LA City Council is seeking a ban on cashless retailers:

City Council seeks ban on cashless retail

Cash Welcome at the POS

I'm posting POS stickers to any retailers and merchants asking for Cash Welcome signage. They are 60mm x 80mm (larger available) and popular. Hopefully we can take this battle for hearts and minds to as many retail points of sale as possible.

Get in touch if you would like some POS stickers.

[email protected]

Our POS signage is generally welcomed and appreciated by merchants who usually need no encouragement to complain about bank EFTPOS fees.

Please help keep us going, talking to the media, posting our information on social media and engaging with the decision-makers.

Please donate to keep us going

Cash Welcome is a campaign supporting the public's right to access and use cash. We work in co-operation with ATMIA. We have 150,000 Australians on our supporter lists.

We rely on donations from the public and industry to keep this campaign going. 

Please consider making a small credit/debit card contribution to our:

gofundme account

or our Patreon page.

If nothing else, shout me a coffee! :)

Alternatively, go to the bank or send us a deposit to:

Cash Welcome
BSB 062-692
AC 4954 6502


This campaign relies on support from ordinary Australians and the people who work in the cash industry.

We can issue you a tax invoice  if you would prefer to make a contribution through your accounts payable department.

Please visit our

Website
Facebook
Instagram


Thanks, 

Jason Bryce
0428 777 727
[email protected]

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