Growth has shown signs of slowing since March due to the impact of COVID-19...
2020-07-09 3 ENGLISH REPORTS
Despite the fact that we regard this acceptance and convenience as a current advantage of cash, this should not be taken for granted. Even though cash is defined as legal tender in the majority of countries, this does not prohibit merchants from refusing cash in many countries. For example, in the UK and a handful of European countries (including Germany, the Netherlands and Ireland among others), cash can be declined by merchants, and there are increasing examples of this, as we discuss in this note. Immediate settlement: a traditional benefit of cash Immediate settlement is a benefit of cash that has been particularly important to merchants. In contrast, the amount of time required for a card transaction to settle can vary depending on region, and such transactions are not instantaneous. Instant settlement options, instant account-to-account payments and the growth of P2P and mobile payments are bridging the gap between cash and alternative payments methods, while regulation including PSD2 is accelerating the innovation around such solutions. We view the space for instant payments as fiercely competed at the moment, with fintechs forcing banks to accelerate their services. Thus, while instant settlement has been a key advantage of cash, we believe that this competitive advantage is beginning to be eroded.
A more topical advantage of cash is that it allows for a high degree of anonymity. In a pure cash transaction, no digital audit trail is created (though clearly this does not hold when cash is deposited into a bank account, for example). Although some concern over black market facilitation is undoubtedly justifiable, we are of the view that, from a consumer perspective, the demand for anonymous payments may be a rational and perfectly legal choice. From a social and democratic perspective, we believe that it may be questionable to decommission cash if this is the only payment method allowing for anonymous transactions. This is, of course, a delicate topic, although we are of the view that, with increased scrutiny on data usage, consumer demand to remain anonymous in some transactions may be a reason for resistance to digitalisation of payments; it may also depend on political and cultural attitudes, which differ by region.
标签： ENGLISH REPORTS