The European Central Bank defended the continued use of cash, despite society’s shift toward digital payment.
While the use of cash is declining, the ECB said it could play an important role in the event of a disturbance in payment systems. Cash payments also remain important for groups in society who prefer hard currency or are unable to use digital technology.
“Such groups include the elderly, immigrants, the disabled, socially vulnerable citizens and others with limited access to digital services,” it said.
It was commenting on a draft law in Sweden — the world’s most cashless society — aimed at ensuring an adequate level of access to cash services.
The ECB welcomed the law’s objectives and said it’s important for countries to take “appropriate measures to ensure that credit institutions and branches operating within their territories provide adequate access to cash services.”
Earlier Wednesday, President Christine Lagarde spoke at a banknote signing event in Frankfurt, saying it’s the ECB’s duty to make sure that notes are “secure, payments systems are robust, and the value of the euro is stable.”