Last week, the De Nederlandsche Bank released their payments strategy for the next three years. The DNB breaks down their plans for stimulating innovation, promoting a robust electronic payment infrastructure, and working on a well-functioning cash payment chain.
In the Executive Summary, DNB Payments Strategy 2018-2021 sees a decline in cash payments as a reason to improve the infructure's efficiency, rather than an excuse to eliminate its existence:
'The number of cash payments is declining, but ready money still plays a role in society. Accordingly, we do not seek to achieve a cashless society.'
Two years ago, the Dutch payments landscape was regarded as one of the most cashless in Europe. Since then, it seems that payments authorities have reevaluated the importance of cash and are now determined to keep cash around. YES!
"Last but not least, we will continue to promote optimisation of the cash chain. While the use of cash is declining, the cash payment system must continue to function smoothly."
To ensure an effectively functioning cash payment chain in the next few years, the DNB will focus on the many unique benefits of cash, the sustainability in the cash payment chain and the future of cash money in the long term
We work on a well-functioning cash payment chain
We believe it is important that cash money remains available, reliable, accessible and affordable and will focus on the following aspects in the next few years:
General acceptance of cash: while it is still possible to pay in cash at most points of sale, its acceptance is declining based on cost and security considerations. To prevent vulnerable groups in society from being excluded, we will continue to promote the general acceptance of cash – particularly in those cases where consumers cannot simply turn to another provider who does accept cash. Innovations such as the “smart vaults” used by retailers may contribute to better acceptance.
Thanks to these vaults, cash payments are credited to the retailers account within one day (or even instantly, in the future) after depositing the banknotes they receive into the vault. For retailers, this makes cash payments almost equal to debit card payments in terms of security and processing speed.
'Cash must remain available, reliable, accessible and affordable. While we support the retailers’ and banks’ wish to encourage electronic payments, we do not seek to achieve a cashless society as long as there is a need for making cash payments.'
Availability of deposit and withdrawal points: we will continue to stimulate initiatives that ensure the availability of sufficient and secure cash deposit and withdrawal points for retailers and customers.
Safeguarding the reliability and security of cash: we will continue our efforts to ensure that users maintain confidence in the euro banknotes, for example by working together with the market on applications to prevent robberies and ATM ram raids and by developing innovative security features for banknotes