Swiss to vote on stopping cashless society, strain group says

© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: 1,000-Swiss-franc banknotes lie in a field at a Swiss financial institution in Zurich, April 9, 2019. REUTERS/Arnd Wiegmann/File Picture

(Reuters) – Swiss residents will get the prospect to attempt to make sure their financial system by no means turns into cashless, a strain group stated, after accumulating sufficient signatures by Monday to set off a well-liked vote on the difficulty.


The FBS (Free Switzerland Motion) says money is enjoying a shrinking position in lots of economies, as digital funds change into the default for transactions in more and more digitised societies, making it simpler for the state to observe its residents’ actions.

It desires a clause added to Switzerland’s forex regulation, which governs how the central financial institution and authorities handle the cash provide, stipulating {that a} “ample amount” of banknotes or cash should all the time stay in circulation.

There isn’t any proof of strikes in direction of a cashless society by Swiss authorities.

FBS stated it had garnered over 111,000 signatures in assist of the measure, above the 100,000 wanted to set off a well-liked vote. Underneath Switzerland’s system of direct democracy, the proposal would change into regulation if permitted by voters, although authorities and parliament would determine how that regulation was applied.

“It’s clear that … eliminating money not solely touches on problems with transparency, simplicity or safety … but additionally carries an enormous hazard of totalitarian surveillance,” FBS president Richard Koller stated on the group’s web site.

He additionally views Switzerland as a European standard-bearer for the defence of money, as pushing via such ensures within the European Union would entail the “virtually unimaginable” technique of securing approval from all 27 member states.

Accelerated by the influence of COVID-19 lockdowns, the development in direction of elevated cashless funds was evident way back to 2017, when an Ipsos research discovered greater than a 3rd of Europeans and Individuals would fortunately go with out money and 20% just about did so already.