1. VISA Offers Select Retailers $10,000 to Stop Taking Cash
2. More Details on the War On Cash & a Cashless Society
3. Fighting Crime, Terrorism, Counterfeiting & Black Markets
4. Eliminating Large Denomination Currency Notes ($100 Bills)

Overview

On July 12, credit card giant VISA announced that it will soon offer selected retailers $10,000 to stop accepting cash. No one seemed to pay much attention. The announcement received relatively little coverage in the press. Should it have? Yes!

What most people don’t realize is there is a broad movement in many parts of the world to reduce or eliminate the use of cash. This is for real – it’s not some conspiracy theory. Sweden, for example, is in the process of eliminating the use of cash, and today only 2-3% of transactions there are conducted in cash. Other countries are headed in that same direction to varying degrees.

The truth is, most governments and central bankers around the world believe it is important to gradually eliminate the use of cash in the years ahead. They claim the absence of cash would help reduce crime and terrorism, expedite monetary policy and help the global economy. Yet in my opinion, the potential benefits they claim would be minimal and their motives are dubious at best.

The real reason they want to rid the world of cash is so that all of our transactions would be recorded in one form or another and therefore be more traceable. This gives authorities more control, expedites tax collection and lets Big Brother keep a closer watch on all of us.

While the War On Cash and the Cashless Society are not near-term threats to Americans, it is important to keep an eye on this troubling trend. That’s what I’ll focus on today. I’ll start with VISA’s latest offer to pay selected retailers $10,000 to stop accepting cash, and then we’ll move on to the bigger picture implications down the road.

Before I get to that discussion, let me briefly mention last Friday’s initial 2Q GDP report which came in, as expected, at a 2.6% annual rate, following growth of only 1.2% in the 1Q. While the 2Q increase to 2.6% was good news, it remains to be seen what the economy will do in the second half of this year.

VISA Offers Select Retailers $10,000 to Stop Taking Cash

In a move that should have gotten more attention, VISA announced on July 12 that it will soon begin offering select retailers $10,000 to stop accepting cash. VISA said it is planning to give $10,000 apiece to selected restaurants and food vendors to upgrade their payment technology, as long as the businesses agree to stop accepting cash.

Consumers at retailers which take the VISA deal would be able to pay for goods or services only with debit or credit cards or with their cellphone apps such as Apple Pay. For the record, I don’t expect this “no cash” trend to become widespread in America anytime soon.

In case you’re wondering, VISA and other credit card companies consider payment in cash as their chief competitor. If they can get more consumers to pay by credit and debit cards, instead of cash, their profits could rise significantly. VISA’s CEO, Al Kelly, recently admitted: “We’re focused on putting cash out of business,” adding that converting checks and cash to digital and electronic payments is the company’s “number-one growth lever.”