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Review of 2017 Event

16 October 2017

The Future of Cash™ has now been running for 14 years, and everyone involved in circulating banknotes and coins, whether in issuing, circulating and recirculating is continuing to work towards maintaining cash as the most important means of payment.

At The Future of Cash 2017 the conference theme centred on how to manage cash better, with new insights into the life cycle of banknotes and enhanced controls, how applying today’s industry standards and technologies like big data analytics allow smarter decisions on the future of cash and forecasting future banknote demand.

We heard from commercial banks on why we should embrace cash as a key touchpoint with customers, to avert the prospect of negative interest rates, to avoid central-bank issued digital currencies which would compete with their own payment products and to offer a product and service that customers actually want and need, as shown by increase in demand.

The first morning of the conference, which took place in Vienna, Austria covered these topics from a variety of perspectives, following an insightful introduction to today’s challenges from Guillaume Lepecq as Conference Director.

The first session featured an overview of the Austrian cash cycle from the Austrian Central Bank, the evolution of cash demand in the euro area from the ECB and the importance of central bank money as an alternative to private money from Norges Bank debating some of the fundamental trends shaping the cash cycle. In Austria, 85% of transaction volumes are settled in cash versus 79% in the euro-zone, according to the first euro-area wide study on the use of cash by households. In Norway, only 11% of point-of-sale payments and 15% of person-to-person payments are made in cash; however, since 2016 banks are required by law to enable their customers to receive and deposit cash.

In the second session, improving the efficiency of cash, and improving the cash cycle were covered with presentations from GSA, NOKAS, Giesecke + Devrient, Santander and Garanti Bank, Caixa Geral de Depositos and ESTA.

Understanding cash usage was covered by the Bank of England, Glory, Vaultex, Deutsche Bank and UK Cash Services, with the penultimate session - Is Cash a Profitable Banking Product? - addressed by Barclays Bank, Piraeus Bank and Weiden Technical University of Applied Sciences.

The conference concluded with an innovation panel on cash payments solutions for the 21st century, with panellists from Prosegur and Barzahlen.

Another highlight was delivered by Glory, who delivered their new report highlighting that in spite of the rise of electronic, mobile and contactless payments, physical currency remains a favoured choice for consumers. Their global research, which polled 1,500 consumers in the UK, US and Australia, found that 48% still use cash on a daily basis and that 74% saying there would always be a role for cash and couldn’t see it ever being replaced completely by other forms of payment. 

The conference was attended by around 130 delegates and has received extremely very positive reviews.