The ATM Industry Association (ATMIA) has published a position paper recommending the removal of international restrictions on payments in cash.

The position paper especially recommended removal of caps which prohibit transactions exceeding a certain amount from being settled in cash.

ATMIA CEO Mike Lee commented: “It seems to be absurd to discriminate against cash in this manner when over 80% of global retail payments today are still made using cash. Why cap cash payments when there is so much more to lose than to gain?”

The trade association listed examples of cash restrictions which several countries have imposed and argued that there is no evidence that these caps on cash payments have reduced tax evasion, curbed the shadow economy or combatted crime and terrorist financing.

The position paper also pointed out significant negative consequences of the caps such as lost sales, damage to small businesses and entrepreneurs and the undermining of financial and social inclusion.

“In a similar vein we oppose enforced restrictions on ATM cash withdrawals and on private cash holdings by free, law-abiding citizens,” Lee commented. “It should be remembered that the vast majority of cash transactions are legitimate and it makes no sense to target cash use and cash users in this somewhat arbitrary way.”

The new paper was based on original research by Guillaume Lepecq, managing director of AGIS Consulting (France) and was peer reviewed by Ron Delnevo, executive director of ATMIA Europe, and Debbie Smyth, the association’s international industry adviser.