This is the first petition in the world asking for more effective interventions on the fight against the use of cash:
1. Withdraw 500 euro banknotes
2. Favour smartphone payments
3. Free bank charges
4. More incentives
5. More communication
All this, without ending in the same old limitations and obstacles procedures at the expenses of citizens (i.e. limits in cash expenses, pensions on bank accounts etc.), because it can be done without directly affecting people’s freedom and habits. The fight against cash is decisive in the battle against tax evasion, corruption, money-laundering and its exorbitant costs, robberies and thefts besides from eliminating an inconvenient and obsolete instrument from our pockets.
The war on cash is a real civil rights battle, the acceptance of electronic payment systems represents an advantage in terms of convenience and safety for families, enterprises and public administrations.
Sign the letter Waroncash.org will send the European Commission and the institutions of the Italian Government to ask for more decisive measures in the war against the use of cash.
Waroncash.org has been leading its battle through information, publishing posts on new payment instruments and the damages cash provokes: tax evasion, corruption, money laundering, high management costs and several inconveniences for citizens such as the lack of guarantees in case of theft, counterfeit and destruction.
We are appealing to European and Italian legislators to raise their attention and obtain tangible signs on the following points:
1 – ELIMINATION OF 500 EURO BANKNOTES IN EUROPE
We ask that the over 400million of 500 euro banknotes representing an overall value of 200 billion euro be withdrawn because in view of the information that can be easily collected, they cannot be considered simple payment instruments but, on the contrary, they represent the best denomination banknote for evasion, corruption and money laundering purposes.
There is only one banknote among the great Western currencies higher than the 500 euro banknote, Switzerland’s 1000 Francs (approximately 800 euro). In the USA, 100 dollar banknotes have been withdrawn, in Japan the highest value is 10thousand yen (a little more than 100 euro) and in England there is nothing above 50 Pounds.
In Italy ¾ of the 500 euro banknotes are traced near the boundary with Switzerland, in the province of Forlì (therefore San Marino) and in the Triveneto area. This means tax evasion and money laundering.
One million euro in 500 euro banknotes weigh just 1.6 kg; 12 thousand pieces (6 million euro) can easily fit into a computer case and 10 thousand euro can be easily put into a bicycle water bottle (as the bicycle “climbing” to San Marino reported in the news demonstrate).
2 – SMARTPHONE PAYMENTS
We ask for the development of new electronic payment systems, particularly proximity ones (contactless) and through advanced mobile phones (m-payment) and we request the Government to support central and peripheral public administrations, municipally-owned and controlled companies in adopting new instruments aimed at the elimination of cash even for public transport tickets, parking fares, consumption bills, fines, taxi, public bicycles, school canteens, library cards etc.
Estimates show that in the forthcoming 5 years, 80% of smartphones will be equipped with NFC (Near Field Communication) technology which will allow payments just by placing mobile phones near POS terminals.
Therefore, it is imperative to equip all public administrations and municipally-owned companies with NFC technology-reading POS terminals and allow faster transactions also for micro payments.
In the meantime, we can use mobile POS terminals, small devices which (inserted in the smartphone’s audio socket) immediately turn the phone into a payment cards accepting device, without fixed costs or special authorizations, thus stimulating the use of e-payment even among private users.
3 – FREE COMMISSIONS TO LIMIT BANK COSTS
We ask that interbanking commissions do not receive excessive regulations from above and to privilege the “bank/circuit/consumer” system self-regulation. An invasive intervention from legislators on this delicate mechanism may generate privileges for everyone except consumers, who find themselves burdened by bank costs to compensate for losses caused by the regulation itself.
The interchange fee, the percentage the retailer’s bank pays the consumer’s bank each time a card transaction is made, supports the electronic payments system. Spain has decided (between 2006 and 2010) to progressively lower the interchange fee to 57%. The result being that Spanish buyers did not obtain any benefit, indeed the contrary: retailers saw a 2.75 billion saving over a five-year period, whilst buyers’ costs have increased by an incredible 50% over the same period of time. This translates into an additional burden of 2,35 billion euro which buyers have had to bear, just for the use of their payment cards. The reason being that because of the lower interchange fee, banks issuing cards have obtained a significantly lower income and this has caused compensation to the damage of consumers from the banks.
4 – INTRODUCING CONFLICT OF INTERESTS AND INCENTIVES TO NO CASH PAYMENTS
After carefully examining the indications the Italian parliament has expressed in terms of conflict of interests, we ask to hastily legislate to allow the deduction of duly proven expenses (through receipts or invoices) from incomes.
One of the instruments to fight evasion is the possibility to deduct expenses documented through receipts or invoices, an instrument which can be very useful especially if combined to incentives for those who can prove not accepting cash for professional services. Particularly, we believe that incentives must favour end users and customers with the aim of progressively stimulating forms of no cash payment.
5 – COMMUNICATING THE ADVANTAGES OF E-MONEY AND THE DAMAGES OF CASH
We request that European, Central and Local Institutions subscribe to all initiatives promoting the use of alternative payment systems to cash, through the direct participation or sponsorships and patronage.
You cannot devise change without the participation of citizens and without their consent. It is therefore mandatory to develop or favour information, education and participation. We therefore look forward to seeing several communication campaigns and actions to explain the audience (especially the weakest such as the elderly, young and foreigners) how payment means are changing and how to take advantage from them for every need. Moreover, we require greater information on the cards’ safety level, very high nowadays but still perceived as inappropriate from the audience.