Finance Minister Wopke Hoekstra has told the Netherlands’ House of Representatives he is monitoring the number of retailers across the country that are no longer accepting cash. His goal is to establish whether or not additional measures will be needed to guarantee customers a choice between different payment methods.
In his answers to parliamentary questions about being able to continue to pay with cash in shops, Hoekstra notes that, although the risk of COVID-19 spreading via surfaces is ‘very small’, he has been informed that certain establishments are either no longer accepting cash, or expressing a strong preference for card transactions.
He highlights De Nederlandsche Bank (DNB) research from mid-2019 that found 97 percent of retailers accepted cash payments, making cash the most widely-accepted payment method. The DNB is now assessing the impact of COVID-19 on cash transactions, with results due in November.
Hoekstra believes consumers should be able to choose how they pay for goods—with cash being an essential option—and says he will consider measures to ensure this choice, with ‘a good cash infrastructure’, should he deem them necessary.