EU country wants to write “right to cash” into its constitution

Regarding digital payments, Austria has been behind other European countries.

Austrian Chancellor Karl Nehammer wants the right to use cash to be written into the country’s law. This calms fears that people will lose the right to use paper money and coins.

A three-point plan was released on Thursday. It says that the cash right would be guaranteed in the constitution, and the national bank would have to provide the cash flow needed to keep a cash economy going. The plan would require the country’s bankers to put up shops close enough to the people to make cash payments possible for everyone.

“More and more people in Austria are worried that cash payments could be limited,” the governor said. “Every year, nearly $52 billion is taken out of ATMs in Austria alone, and on average, each Austrian carries €102 in cash.”

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He also said 67% of payments under €20 (about $22) are made in cash in Austria.

“Cash is the most simple way to pay. Nehammer said, “To keep it safe, we need a clear legal framework. Everyone should be able to choose how and with what they want to pay.”

Nehammer has given the job of putting the plan into action to Finance Minister Magnus Brunner. Also, in September, a roundtable with the relevant ministries, officials from the industry, and the national bank will be held to figure out the best way to make it happen.

Many European countries are getting increasingly used to paying with cards, but Austria, like its neighbour Germany, is still mostly cash-based, especially for smaller, everyday purchases.


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