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Dollah bills

A 'right to pay with cash' at some businesses is likely to be mandated this year

Finance McGrath said today that there will be changes by the end of the year.

THE GOVERNMENT IS expected to make a decision by the end of this year on whether to introduce a right to pay with cash for certain goods, the Minister for Finance has said. 

Micheal McGrath said today that he envisions the government will, by year end, define certain essential goods and services where a right to pay with cash is appropriate.

McGrath was speaking at a press conference this afternoon launching government plans to ensure a “reasonable access” to cash at ATMs around the country. 

A decision relating to the right to pay with cash would fall under the government’s National Payments Strategy which is currently open to public submissions. 

The public consultation will close on 14 February.

McGrath said today: “So we we see what people have to say on that. I recognise that for businesses, handling cash comes with a cost, but also digital payments can come at a cost in terms of merchant fees and so on.

“So we will have to make policy decisions. I would envisage that we will define certain essential goods and services where a right to pay with cash is appropriate. But we’ve made no decision on any specific good or service or outfit type that will be the subject to that.”

“I am interested in what the views are among stakeholders, but there will be changes. There will be changes as part of the National Payment Strategy,” the Minister added.

McGrath said a decision on the acceptance of cash in different parts of the economy will be made later this year.

In 2022, a retail banking review recommended that the Government should preemptively legislate to ensure that cash continues to be accepted by certain sectors and businesses.

The 2022 report noted that risks could arise should retailers such as large supermarket chains and other public and private service providers, such as doctors or hospitals decide to not accept cash.

ATMs

Minister McGrath today also got Cabinet approval for the ‘Access to Cash Bill’ which aims to ensure there is no further decline in the number of ATMs in towns and villages around the country.

The plan aims to restore the number of ATMs to 2022 levels, before Ulster Bank and KBC left the banking market.  

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