Dutch Cash Covenant in Action
Earlier this year, major Dutch organisations signed a ‘Cash Covenant’ with De Nederlansche Bank, committing to measures that ensure cash will remain available to and usable by all. Now, companies are supporting cash with initiatives both small—such as providing stickers for shop windows that confirm they accept cash—to large, with banks guaranteeing no increase to cash service fees until at least August 2023.
The Dutch Payments Association released a new series of sticker sheets in late September, available free-of-charge to retail businesses who can display them in windows and near payment points to make customers aware of their payment options. This meets a requirement within the Covenant that retail establishments must make it clear to customers whether or not they accept cash.
Four banks have added their signatures to the Covenant since it was initially formed in April 2022, including BNG Bank—the fourth-largest bank in the Netherlands—joining the nation’s other top banks and financial service companies, such as ING Bank. In addition to a freeze in raising the fees on cash services, Article 4 of the Covenant requires them to refrain from introducing any measures that could ‘hinder or discourage cash deposits or withdrawals’.
The Dutch Payments Association—another signatory—notes the importance of banks freezing their fees at a time of ‘ever-increasing gatekeeping charges’ that have drawn complaints from customers.
I am pleased that the Covenant has now been agreed on and signed. These agreements ensure that cash remains available and accessible to everyone who needs it.