In March, in the face of strong public opposition the International Monetary Fund (IMF) published a working paper offering governments suggestions on how to move toward a cashless society. In its report The Macroeconomics of De-Cashing, the IMF proposed to abolish cash and recommended to adopt measures in order to restrict its use.
Now the global payments technology company Visa has started what it is calling “The Visa Cashless Challenge”. Visa is trying to “encourage” businesses to go cashless, and one of the ways that they will be doing this is by “awarding up to $500,000 to 50 eligible US-based small business food service owners who commit to joining the 100% cashless quest”. The food industry is still one of the last bastions where cash is used very heavily, and so it makes sense that Visa would want to target that segment. Of course the more people that use cards to pay for meals, the more money that Visa will make.
When I go to restaurants, I almost always use cash, and I know a lot of other people that very much prefer to use cash in those situations as well. But if Visa has their way, soon all of us will be forced to use some form of digital payment instead. The following is an excerpt from the press release that Visa issued about this new “challenge”:
Today Visa (NYSE:V) announced it is launching a major effort to encourage businesses to go cashless. Aiming to create a culture where cash is no longer king, the program will give merchants increased ability to accept all forms of global digital payments. Visa will be encouraging and helping merchants go cashless by using innovation to their advantage in order to stay competitively connected to their customers.
To encourage businesses to go cashless, Visa is announcing The Visa Cashless Challenge, with a call to action for small business restaurants, cafés or food truck owners to describe what cashless means for them, their employees and customers. Visa will be awarding up to $500,000 to 50 eligible US-based small business food service owners who commit to joining the 100% cashless quest.
“At Visa, we believe you can be everywhere you want to be, and that it should be easy to pay and be paid in more ways than ever – whether it’s a phone, card, wearable or other device,” said Jack Forestell, head of global merchant solutions, Visa Inc. “With 70% of the world, or more than 5 billion people, connected via mobile device by 20201, we have an incredible opportunity to educate merchants and consumers alike on the effectiveness of going cashless.”
Along similar lines in India NDTV has started a #CashlessBano contest enticing people to write stories and win gift vouchers:
Have you ever had an experience where going cashless helped you? Or a day when you completely went cashless? Share your best stories of going cashless with us using the form below and lucky winners will stand a chance to win Rs. 1000 gift vouchers. The more stories you share, the higher your chances of winning!
Just a cursory look at some of the stories would tell you the truth behind them.
Companies like Visa, NDTV, MasterCard and others would love to eliminate the use of cash entirely because it would mean much bigger profits for them. And of course cashless systems hold a lot of appeal for governments as well because such systems would allow them to monitor and track the behavior of their citizens much more closely, but so would the MNCs also who are contracted to provide this technology.
As our society transitions in that direction, we will be told that it is all about fighting money laundering, tax evasion and terrorism, but there are other ways to combat those issues.
Has the Indian government really gone after the money launderers? Was there any investigation done with the data already available and provided in the Panama Papers or the SwissLeaks or the data provided by HSBC whistleblower Hervé Falciani and others? We were told Demonetization would hit hard terrorists funding sources and eliminate terrorism from India. Has the terrorist incidents decreased or increased since then? And all the while on top of that doing totally contrary to its objectives and putting the security of the entire country at risk, the govt gave currency printing contracts to foreign companies that were involved in terrorist attacks in India.
The GoI and even these companies know that people in India still prefer cash to digital which for them is a barrier to their stated goal of a Cashless Society.
Why the push for a Cashless Society?
After the banking collapse of 2008 as a measure to combat the growing liquidity crisis there began a global push by Governments, Central Banks and Multinational Companies to eliminate the use of physical cash around the world and replace it with digital money. This movement is often referred to as “The War on Cash”. Once every year these elite bankers, leaders in business and government meet at the World Economic Forum meeting held in Davos, Switzerland where they chart out the future course of the global economy.
Immediately after the conference in January last year, there was a big acceleration to eliminate paper cash, or at least high-denomination currency notes worldwide. Experts have alluded to this secret meeting for kick-starting the Global War on Cash.
There is a war on cash being waged globally and the objective of this war is to push nations into becoming a Cashless Surveillance Society easily managed by East India Companies in their new avatar as global Multinational Corporations.
Read this exclusive research on the Global War on Cash with an impact study of India’s demonetization drive with a push towards a Cashless society published in the Apr-Jun 2017 Demonetization issue of GreatGameIndia – India’s only quarterly magazine on Geopolitics and International Affairs.