The ATM Industry Association has published a position paper recommending the removal of international restrictions on payments in cash, especially caps that forbid transactions exceeding a certain amount from being settled in cash. The paper is available to both members and nonmembers of the association.

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

The position paper provides examples of cash limits that several countries have imposed, and argues that there is no evidence that caps have reduced tax evasion, curbed the shadow economy or helped combat crime and terrorist financing.

The paper goes on to describe the significant negative consequences of the restrictions, 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 said. “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 Paris-based AGIS Consulting and was peer reviewed by Ron Delnevo, executive director of ATMIA Europe, and Debbie Smyth, the association’s international industry adviser.

Download a PDF of the position paper.

Caps on cash payments under criticism from ATM industry