(Joshua Paladino, Liberty Headlines) As a new study from the Federal Reserve shows people are making more cash-free transactions, a major credit card company is starting a program to escalate the trend.
Visa, through the Cashless Challenge, will give $10,000 to 50 companies that pledge to eliminate or significantly reduce the use of cash and switch to card or mobile payments, according to Business Insider.
“We’re focused on putting cash out of business,” said Visa Chief Executive Al Kelly, according to Fox Business.
Last year India banned 85 percent of cash in circulation. In 2005, 98 percent of transactions in Poland were made with cash. Today, cash transactions make up 72 percent of payments, according to the European Payments Council. In the United States, a 2016 Gallup poll found 24 percent of Americans use primarily cash for their purchases, which is down from 36 percent in 2011.
A Federal Reserve Payments study found Americans “wrote nearly two-thirds fewer cheques per household in 2015 than in 2000, while total non-cash payments per household, which includes cheques, card payments and electronic transfers via automated clearing house (ACH), expanded almost 95 percent,” Banking Technology reported.
Ron Paul, in an interview with World Alternative Medica, discussed the reasons for a trend away from physical money.
“There’s a lot less cash being used in this country,” Paul said. “I think it’s a sign of the weakening of the system. It’s also a sign that the authoritarians are clinging to power, and that means they have to know what everybody is doing—where everybody’s money is—so they collect the revenues and make sure that you’re not getting around the system.”
Visa still has a formidable competitor in cash. In 2015, 32 percent of consumer transactions were cash-based, Fox Business reported.
It’s clear why Visa wants cash eliminated, as it is the largest credit card company in the United States, processing 59 percent of all credit card transactions. For every transaction made with cash instead of card, Visa does not earn the approximately two-percent transaction fee.
While cash transactions remain the largest means of transaction in the United States, an ING survey found that 38 percent of Americans would prefer a cashless society, according to Reuters.
Paul said he believes people are not fooled by credit card companies and the government’s attempt to remove cash.
“It won’t work. Matter of fact, it might be the precipitating factor that people will eventually lose confidence when the crisis hits,” Paul said. “I still expect that this system will not last. It will collapse. It always has in the past. Fiat money and cryptocurrencies, I do not believe that they can replace gold and silver.”
Visa is only making a $500,000 initial investment in its cashless project. The multi-billion dollar company hinted it will invest more money to incentivize businesses to stop accepting cash.
“We’re really viewing this as the opening salvo,” Visa executive Jack Forestell said, according to Fox Business.
Forestell said Visa wants Americans to make the “journey to cashless.”
Now Americans have to decide if they want to leave cash in the past.