Danish Restaurants, Retailers Poised to Go Completely Cashless with New Government Proposal

As early as next year, the Danish government could eliminate the need for businesses to accept hard currency

Photo Sasabune Omakase Modified: Flickr/erin/CC 4.0

Already, credit and debit cards are commonly used to cover any number of small expenses. 

As mobile payment options become increasingly popular, the government of Denmark has proposed the elimination of the legal requirement for certain retailers to accept cash as payment.

As early as next year, businesses including restaurants, gas stations, and clothing shops could potentially be freed from the obligation to accept hard currency in a country where credit and debit cards are commonly used for even the smallest purchases.

Nearly a third of Danes already rely on MobilePay, a smartphone app that allows consumers to transfer money to other phones and businesses, according to Reuters.

The measure still needs to pass through Danish parliament, but is expected to be well-received by legislators. The proposal is part of a number of measures to promote economic growth and simplify operations for businesses.

Reactions from the country’s financiers have been mixed, with some pointing to the greater possibility for fraud and questioning the federal role in public payment choices. Others, like Bill Gates, have supported cashless systems as a simpler and more digitally savvy way to allocate funds — including in the world’s poorest economies, where mobile banking allows citizens to store and transfer money via cellphone.   

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