Denmark considers law to allow businesses to refuse cash
The Danish government is considering a law that will make it legal for a business to refuse payment in cash. They fear that cash payments represent “administrative and financial burdens” on firms and they should be allowed to insist on a card or electronic payment.
Denmark is already further down the road to a cashless society than we are in the UK. Apparently Denmark’s government has already stopped producing coins and notes and lots of bank branches don’t even hold cash. Of 5.6 million Danes, 2 million use Danske Bank’s mobile payment service already. Just about everyone has a debit card, it seems.
Cash does provide headaches for governments. Obviously there is an expense producing and maintaining physical cash money and keeping it in circulation. Coins are relatively durable but notes deteriorate much more quickly over time. And, needless to say, coins and notes can be counterfeited.
It’s easier to steal and hard to trace when it is stolen. And also, a black economy relies almost entirely on cash and governments are always keen to stamp out that sort of thing. A cashless country would be able to tackle tax avoidance much more effectively too.
And cash also represents a hassle and expense to anyone running a business. Cashing up, reconciling the tills and banking all take up time for a retail operation. Maybe not onerous, but time is money. Of course, card payments attract an expense on the flip side.
A cashless society is quite difficult to imagine. But I think the biggest reason to resist it is romance. There is something very satisfactory about coins and notes. Cash is a certain and speedy transaction. Maybe I’m a bit old-fashioned, but I do get frustrated at the bar as card payments slow down the service.
Most of us “refuse cash” when we sell online. I don’t want a brown envelope of cash arriving with an order.
That said, in a cashless society Big Brother has huge power over us.
I agree that in the UK card payments are slower and I prefer to pay cash here for day to day purchases. I’d have to wonder if the payments in Denmark are noticeably quicker and less annoying?
I have to disagree – I can pay with my contactless card considerably more quickly than paying by cash. So much more convenient, too.
I use contactless card for purchases as well but it is very limited to its number of uses per hour and per day. It is also surprising how many businesses out there are still do not accept contactless
This, I only know one place locally that has allowed it. Generally card has to be done chip & pin.
Perhaps I’m more exposed to it, working in Central London as I do. There is a £20 limit per contactless transaction (set to rise to £30 within a year, if I recall correctly)
Not aware of any hourly / daily limit uses? I’ve not come across any problems, and use it perhaps 2-3 times a day (waaay too much coffee…!) I guess if someone went on a spending spree with a stolen card, then some preventative action would kick in, but this is presumably the same for any card that has been stolen / cloned – not just contactless.
Big fan, as you can tell.
Back to the story – any retailer / business in the UK is quite entitled to refuse cash today. Legal tender does not mean what most people thinks it mean….! However, I’d suggest they’d be mad to do so….
I guess it shouldn’t be a surprise that London would be leagues ahead. I’ll have to remember next time I go, so I don’t get caught out sheepishly like I did at the Coop when they stated it was contactless.