Consumers from vulnerable groups such as senior citizens, disabled people and those with low digital skills experience a decline in the accessibility and availability of payment services. This seems to be related to the fact that banks increasingly digitalise their services and close branches.Read more
DNB calls for new agreements about cash
De Nederlandsche Bank (DNB) calls on stakeholders in the payment chain to enter into agreements to ensure that cash remains readily accessible and available in the Netherlands in the next five years. DNB announced this today after outgoing Minister of Finance Wopke Hoekstra had presented the report “The future of the cash infrastructure in the Netherlands” to the Dutch House of Representatives. The report details the results of a study carried out by McKinsey, commissioned by DNB.
DNB aims for agreements between the relevant stakeholders, since these offer more flexibility compared with regulation. DNB hopes that all parties concerned will be prepared to participate and honour the commitments they make – even though their interests in the cash payment system differ. After all, they have a shared interest: an efficient, accessible and secure payment system.
The McKinsey report foresees a further decline in the use of cash. This may become a problem in the event of disruptions in electronic payments, since cash functions as a fall-back option in such cases. In addition, it could be problematic for those who are dependent on cash as their main means of payment. Cash, moreover, is public money, which means everyone should be able to use it. The report explores ways to improve the efficiency of the cash infrastructure and addresses its costs and funding. It also highlights various measures that could be used to guide its future development in the right direction. McKinsey recommends that alternative, digital means of payments are developed to function as fall-back options.
DNB endorses this recommendation. However, before cash as a fall-back instrument can be replaced by digital means of payment, the latter need to be widely available and accessible to everyone (inclusiveness). DNB advises the cabinet to think about what this will mean for the role of the government with regard to the cash infrastructure once this point is reached. While it is understandable that banks pass on the cost of payments to their customers, they should take care not to place the burden on the users of cash. DNB is of the opinion that banks’ efforts to combat money laundering and fraud should not hamper the legitimate use of cash or obstruct the accessibility of the cash payment system. Many retailers continue to accept cash, and DNB considers it important that this remains the case. Security therefore deserves continued attention from all parties in the cash chain.