Anti-Cash-Alliance Suffers Setback in Home-Town New York

The Better Than Cash Alliance (Visa, Mastercard, Citibank, Bill Gates, USAID) coordinates the global war against cash from New York. Now, the city council there has decided to oblige all brick and mortar stores and restaurants to accept cash. The justification of the regulation is a low blow for the alliance’s financial inclusion propaganda…

According to a USA-Today report, retail stores, restaurants, and bars will have to accept cash in the future. The new regulation gets in the way of a program of credit card company Visa, which is paying restaurants for going completely cashless.

Visa is one of the founding members of the Better Than Cash Alliance, which aims to eliminate cash worldwide. The alliance is based in New York. With generous donations, it obtained office space from the United Nations Capital Development Fund (UNCDF) and now misleadingly calls itself a “UN-based organization”.

The reasoning for the city council’s decision in favor of cash – financial inclusion – is a blow for the propaganda with which the Better Than Cash Alliance tries to justify its war against cash: they also argue with financial inclusion, pretending that taking cash away helps to integrate everybody into the financial system. “The marketplace of the future must take into account the needs of vulnerable New Yorkers,” wrote the law’s sponsor, Ritchie Torres, in a press release. Even those who do not have a bank account or do not want to pay the bank fees should be able to shop and eat everywhere. The New York City Council thus emphasizes that cash is the most inclusive means of payment because everyone can use it without special technical facilities and without extra costs. Making the use of cash harder, more expensive and more inconvenient as the Better Than Cash Alliance aims to do, is anti-inclusive, not inclusive.

The U.S. government, also a founding member of the Better Than Cash Alliance, has even linked the G20, the 20 most powerful governments and their central banks, into a Global Partnership for Financial Inclusion, which, with the Better Than Cash Alliance as a strategic partner, is aiming to push back cash.

New York is the most symbolically significant city, but not the first to prohibit cash. New Jersey, Philadelphia and San Francisco have passed similar laws.

In Germany, he principle of freedom of contract applies. Private businesses can freely decide how they want to be paid, at least as long as the customers have alternatives and can therefore be assumed to also have freedom of choice. Government agencies cannot rely on freedom of contract due to the lack of voluntary interaction. With a court case against the public TV and radio broadcaster Hessischer Rundfunk, which refuses to accept cash in payment of an obligatory radio fee,  I am trying to clarify that all public authorities are legally obliged to accept cash. The case is pending before the European Court of Justice. [January /26, 2020]