"Cash must not be made the scapegoat," says ECB's Yves Mersch

calendar iconFeb 15, 2018


Yves Mersch has voiced his support for cash in response to the ongoing cashless campaigns led by power-hungry companies and governments. In his 'spirited defence of cash,' the European Central Bank executive board member reminds listeners that cash protects 'privacy, equality and security,' in a way that "no viable alternative" can. 

Don't be fooled by techno-fanatics predicting that contactless, mobile, smart, and cryptocurrency will be the death of cash. Yves Mersch points out that come rain or shine, 'cash always works' while technology malfunctions can often be the downfall of non-cash options. When there's a blackout or a natural disaster, people always turn to cash in order to buy food, water, medicine and other basic necessities. 

"Reports of the death of cash are greatly exaggerated."

Excerpt from Finextra article

In a speech hosted by Deutsche Bundesbank, Mersch acknowledged the trend away from physical money, revealing that five EU member states - Cyprus, Bulgaria, Belgium, Portugal and Denmark - approached the ECB last year to consult on measures to limit the use of cash.

"Protection of privacy matters to all of us. Privacy protects people from the risk of a surveillance state and thought police. No particular link can be established statistically between cash and criminal activities. The focus must be on the fight against crime. Cash must not be made the scapegoat," he told his audience... 

"...printed euro banknotes will retain their place and their role in society as legal tender for a very long time to come. There is no viable alternative to euro cash..."
"Yves MerschExecutive Board MemberEuropean Central Bank

But Mersch is insistent on cash's value as legal tender, throwing particular scorn on the argument that its anonymity helps criminals.

Read full Finextra article here


Staff writer. 'ECB launches staunch defence of cash'. Finextra. Published February 15, 2018. Accessed February 15, 2018.

Related articles

Cash Matters In Germany, the abolition or restriction of cash is refused, concludes Deutsche Bundesbank study
Even though card use is on the rise, German consumers still prefer cash, concludes the most recent study on payment behaviour within Germany. The study was presented for the first time at the Deutsche Bundesbank's Fourth Cash Symposium taking place today at the Hilton in Frankfurt am Main...

Cash Matters Keeping Cash: Assessing the arguments about cash and crime 
This white paper [...] draws from a wide range of institutional, legal, scholarly, policy, news media and other sources as well as quotes from experts in criminology and terrorist financing, banking, industry, and the social sciences. It is the most comprehensive approach to the issue of cash and criminal or terrorist activities to date...

Cash Matters Malta, where cash rules 92% of the time
A recent payments research paper from the European Central Bank found that Malta's population of consumers use cash at Point of Sale more often than any other country within the EU, garnering interest from Financial Times and the Times of Malta... 

Last Updated: Feb 21, 2018