ATMs, cards and cash: at bars and shops it’s already a losing battle

There is no law yet but it is already more difficult to find someone who accepts digital payments without making a fuss

Obviously, the maneuver has not yet been approved. And the measurements on the cap on the use of cash, which will rise to 5000 euros, and on transactions without ATMs and cards up to 60 euros are still just an announcement, or a promise, of what it will be. But the battle of who defends i digital payments it is already essentially lost in the facts.

Just go to the bar, wander around the shops, listen to the answers in front of a receipt, or a restaurant bill, to understand how popular the pro-banknote change is among merchants. Those who want to insist on the cards, those who don’t want to surrender to the law that doesn’t exist yet, still have a month of negotiations. Then, simply, when the law is there for real, he will have to fold and get in line at the ATM, as Matteo Salvini likes so much.

Even before evaluating the repercussions, which exist and will exist, on the shadow economy and on the illegal one, the step backwards is cultural. On the one hand, the more banknotes in circulation, the less traceability there is, the fewer checks one can make. On the other hand, the habits of Italians who have painstakingly shifted towards sharing European and international standards in the last ten years will quickly turn back towards the past.

Anyone who tries to pay for coffee with a card will be rejected like a pain in the ass, the copyright still belongs to Salvini. Anyone who wants to pay the restaurant bill with a card can always change restaurant and hope for the good sense of another restaurateur, as suggested by Economy Minister Giancarlo Giorgetti. The issue, however, is not the open confrontation between who pays and who collects but the position of the state. The choice of the government and the majority, in this sense, is clear. The state pulls itself out and leaves the freedom to pay as it sees fit. Even at the cost of favoring, indirectly, the freedom to evade taxes or to circulate dirty money.

Meanwhile, a classic Saturday morning ride, coffee and breakfast, the purchase of bread and milk is enough to understand how the wind has changed. Even before there is a law, because the exchange of banknotes is too convenient to wait. And because saying ‘no, cash only’ is obviously a liberating exercise for many. (by Fabio Insenga)