The ATM Industry Assn. (ATMIA) has confirmed its support for new efforts to ban cashless retail businesses in New York City, Washington, D.C., and Philadelphia. At least two states are also said to be considering similar proposals. The motivation for such efforts has focused on the potential disenfranchisement of poor and unbanked consumers, ATMIA noted
“The issue is far broader than the poor and unbanked segment of the economy pointed to by these legislative measures,” says David Tente, executive director of ATMIA USA. “Cashless retail severely limits consumer payment choice and eliminates the favored payment method for 26 percent of the population, according to Federal Reserve numbers.
“And industry data indicates that 45 percent of consumers prefer using cash for purchases in local retail establishments,” he added. Even those with a vested interest in a cashless environment should take a moment to consider factors outside of payment choice. In times of crisis – regardless of the cause – cash is often the only option.
Daily life, too, has its wrinkles – payment networks crash, and power systems fail. The only viable backup system in all such circumstances is cash. “Why decrease freedom of choice for citizens in a free market democracy?” added Mike Lee, ATMIA CEO.
In further support of current and future legislative efforts, the association plans to issue a position paper on the subject in the weeks ahead. Advocacy plans for 2019 include significant and continued attention to the ongoing importance of cash and its part in promoting financial inclusion.
ATMIA represents the entire global ATM industry, claiming to serve more than 10,000 members and over 600 companies in 70 countries spanning the ATM ecosphere, including financial institutions, independent ATM deployers, equipment manufacturers, processors and a plethora of value-added solution providers. They also provide education, advocacy and connections to help its members keep abreast of industry news and developments.
For additional information visit their website at www.atmia.com.