Many Countries are criticized, by experts and laymen, for their excessive devotion to cash, whether banknotes or coins. High social costs, tax evasion, corruption are the main arguments against it. Even worse, some of the Countries that can’t really adjust to credit cards are Italy, Spain and Greece, not the better examples of virtuosity. Too simplistic. Even credit cards have disadvantages and States like Germany are rediscovering the good old cash.
Cash has costs related to the salaries of the employees, losses, theft, machines, transportation, safety, surveillance, storing. At the same time credit cards aren’t necessarily connected to bank accounts and they could be more convenient, more functional and safer. But still, they’re not free from extras, as commissions can be on any side of transactions, payment and reception, withdrawal and recharging. Plus, there are annual fees.
And let’s talk about safety. Robberies include credit cards too, criminality evolves simultaneously with the costumes, in a Darwinist way, and many gangs ended up specializing in the art of cloning. Jens Weidmann, president of Deutsche Bundesbank, says that there is no demonstration on how the war on cash can reduce tax evasion or even international terrorism, even if this kind of transactions are traceable.
Germany is avoiding cash demonization, debunking two myths. First: the distinction between rich and poor economies, which pictures the second ones behind also from a cultural point of view, therefore reluctant towards innovations. Second: the idea that banks push for virtual transactions to earn more on commissions. Is Bundesbank itself that prefers the opposite solution, for example organizing a periodic convention on this topic, the Bargeldsymposium. And for the German constitutionalist Hans- Jürgen Papier, “a cap on cash transactions would limit many constitutional rights”.
So, cash and credit cards are just tools with strengths and weaknesses and it’s useless to be extremist on this or that position, there’s no perfect recipe. Based on the situation you could choose the easier way of payment, buying flights on the internet is not the same as a coffee at a bar. Cash could only prevail from a “romantic” perspective, even in delinquency. An old fashion robber arouses the imagination more than a cold, hyper-technological cloner. True, uncle Scrooge wouldn’t hurt himself so much diving into plastic instead of metal, but he would barely be interested in swimming.