The war on cash is a war on anonymity. Cash transactions are private and discreet. Electronic transactions are recorded and can be sifted through for all sorts of things.
Central planners hate cash. It puts power in the hands of the awful, terrible, ignorant consumers, and limits the power of the bankers and their allies in government.
We’ve already heard quite a lot about the War on Cash this year. The opening salvos have been volleyed. But some parts of the world are surrendering pretty quickly already, especially as banks try to push interest rates to below 0%. (Cash produces a relative yield if rates are sub-zero and as such limits the ability of central banks to push rates to under 0%. They don’t like that.)
(From The BBC)
“It’s a very big problem. For small businesses, it costs so much money to put cash in the bank,” says Guido Carinci, chairman of small business association, TOMER. Carinci, describes the situation as “awful,” saying he has to pay a fee of 300 Swedish kronas (about $35) every month to a company that is then able to deposit cash into his bank account.
It all comes down to profit margins. Swedish banks, he says, profit handsomely from charging transaction fees to retailers for card payments, amounting to millions of kronas annually for the banks, whereas there is no revenue generated on cash. This leaves banks little incentive to accept currency.
Citing the high costs of handling cash and security concerns, many Swedish stores have already abandoned their cash tills, including telecommunications giant Telia Company, whose 86 shops nationwide stopped accepting cash in 2013. The country’s buses haven’t accepted currency from passengers for years, and even homeless magazine vendors accept card and mobile payments these days.