By Matt Pillar, chief editor
The Danish Parliament just proposed a law, backed by the Danish Chamber of Commerce, that would allow retailers to refuse to accept cash payments.
In light of that country’s cash use statistics, it doesn’t seem like such a radical move. Close to 40 percent of Denmark’s population uses MobilePay from DanskeBank, which facilitates money transfers between people and purchases in both stores and online. Nearly two million Danes had downloaded the app within a year of its 2013 launch.
Note to our friends in the cash handling hardware and software businesses: steer clear of Northern Europe. Cash accounts for a total of just six percent of payments made in Scandinavia, and if the Danish law passes, retailers in Denmark could rid their stores of the cash wrap as we know it as early as 2016.
The proposed legislation in Denmark might seem reasonable at the surface. Merchants have the right to choose whether or not they accept credit and debit cards, Apple Pay, Google Wallet, gift cards, and checks. As cash usage declines, why not allow them to make an educated decision about whether the cost and risks associated with handling cash is worth the return? Others point to the benefits of reduced cash handling and transport costs. Bon Voyage and farewell to the Brinks truck.
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