Business leaders will launch a three-month pilot project today to promote the use of credit and debit cards, and to encourage consumers to shift from splashing the cash towards electronic-only transactions.
The “Cork Cashes Out” scheme, which is supported by the major banks, is completely voluntary for both retailers and consumers but an incentive is being offered to encourage consumers to opt in.
Everyone who uses a credit or debit card to pay for their goods in participating stores will be entered into a competition, with a range of prizes on offer over the coming weeks.
The initiative is spearheaded by the Cork City Centre Forum — an umbrella group representing retailers and business owners as well as city council, gardaí, and representative business organisations including Cork Chamber. The forum was set up last year to identify and implement opportunities to drive footfall and business in the city centre.
Last month, the forum helped secure a prestigious Purple Flag designation for the city’s night-time economy. Now it’s turning its attention to Cork Cashes Out.
Forum member and publican Paul Montgomery, who is one of the driving forces behind Cork Cashes Out, said:
“I’ve been in this business for over 20 years and cash has always been king, but I’ve always hated the idea of having large amounts of cash floating around.”
The initiative ties in with government policy to promote e-commerce over cash.
Last year, government departments and local authorities stopped using cheques and moved to online payments. Last month’s budget abolished the €5 stamp duty tax on all debit and ATM cards.