Shops could be required by law to take cash payments under new bank rules
By Fiona Frawley
Shops and cafes could soon be required by law to accept cash payments as part of new rules for banks.
Under a draft bill to be tabled by the Department of Finance next year, banks will have to offer customers “reasonable access to cash”, the Independent reports.
Requirements as part of the new bill could include having a minimum number of cash points required per town or region, with independent ATM operators to be brought in under Central Bank supervision.
The decision comes after AIB was forced to roll back on its decision to remove cash facilities, including ATMs, from 70 branches.
Speaking to the Independent, Minister for Finance Paschal Donohoe said: "People like, or indeed, need to use cash, and uncontrolled changes resulting from individual commercial decisions are leaving them behind.
"This isn’t fair and it could be damaging to financial inclusion."
Officials are also looking into extending cash rules to other businesses such as newsagents and cafes, under a new payments strategy due in 2024.
Managing director of Retail Excellence Duncan Graham said any moves need to be “customer-led, rather than retailer-led and government-led”.
“There is still, in very many sectors, a big dependence on cash,” he said.
Meanwhile head of the Convenience Stores and Newsagents Association Vincent Jennings said it was a “social obligation” to accept cash.