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Visa offering big incentives to retailers as a way to slowly eliminate cash from the economy

Visa offering big incentives to retailers as a way to slowly eliminate cash from the economy

It is one thing for a company to offer incentives to a partner to help promote the use their products in greater amounts, but it is another thing to entice a customer with incentives if they will change their business model entirely.

But sadly that is exactly what Visa is doing for retailers now in offering them cash to upgrade their POS (Point of Sale) systems if they then cease to accept cash from customers.

Visa Inc. has a new offer for small merchants: take thousands of dollars from the card giant to upgrade their payment technology. In return, the businesses must stop accepting cash.

The company unveiled the initiative on Wednesday as part of a broader effort to steer Americans away from using old-fashioned paper money. Visa says it is planning to give $10,000 apiece to up to 50 restaurants and food vendors to pay for their technology and marketing costs, as long as the businesses pledge to start what Visa executive Jack Forestell calls a “journey to cashless.” – Naked Capitalism

Last year several academics and even a Nobel Laureate economist publicly called for the U.S. government to begin the process of eliminating cash.  The idea behind this of course was to protect the big banks from consumers taking their money out of these institutions when the next financial or banking crisis hit the nation.

And likewise, some countries in Europe are already mainstreaming a cashless society, even to the point where many businesses in both Sweden and Denmark no longer accept cash, and local governments are even giving credit card swipe machines to beggars so that people can contribute to them using their plastic.

Visa, Mastercard, and other credit card companies have a legitimate incentive to get consumers and retailers to use their products more, however when incentives by these companies come with a catch that takes away monetary control for both customers and clients alike, then it is the equivalent of a business making a deal with the devil, and is just the first step into becoming a slave to the next demands these companies want to impress upon businesses when they no longer have a choice to opt out.

Kenneth Schortgen Jr is a writer for The Daily EconomistSecretsofthefed.comRoguemoney.net, and Viral Liberty, and hosts the popular youtube podcast on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. Ken can also be heard Wednesday afternoons giving an weekly economic report on the Angel Clark radio show.


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