Visa considers incentives for UK firms to go cashless
Visa’s plans to incentivise businesses to go cashless is very interesting.
The proposal raises some immediate questions for customers, businesses and government alike. For example, many people like cash, as it provides anonymity and cannot be overspent. How will these people respond to being told by a business that they can no longer use notes and coins? And what about the near three million UK citizens who don’t have bank accounts and transact exclusively in cash? How many of these customers will have no choice but to take their business elsewhere?
How will Visa enforce the incentive? Will it police businesses that agree not to take cash and/or will it have audit rights? And what is the government’s and regulator’s view – after all, it is illegal to refuse legal tender when it is offered to settle a debt, such as for a restaurant meal or a taxi ride. In England and Wales, legal tender comprises only notes issued by the Bank of England notes and coins issued by the Royal Mint.
It’s early days for Visa’s initiative. It’s a revolutionary idea which will provoke a lot of industry and media debate. We shall watch this development with interest