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Press release content from PR Newswire. The AP news staff was not involved in its creation.

Financial services associations warn elected officials of COVID-related business practice disenfranchising 50 million Americans

April 12, 2021 GMT

WASHINGTON, April 12, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- Three financial associations and a Chicago financial service executive are warning members of Congress, governors and state legislative leaders about a COVID-related practice of prohibiting cash payment for goods and services implemented by some businesses and companies. The practice is fraught with potentially devastating results to an already vulnerable population.

In a letter to governmental leaders, top executives from the Secure Cash Transport Association (SCTA), Independent Armored Car Operators Association (IACOA), ATM Industry Association (ATMIA), and Davis Bancorp are asking leaders to support legislation that protects payment choice. According to the letter, “Although 25% of Americans rely on cash to complete daily transactions and over 50 million Americans have little to no access to formal banking channels, efforts to ban and discourage cash are mounting.” “Considering the challenging economic environment, issuance of EIP payments, and tightening access to credit for many, banning cash constitutes disenfranchisement based on payment choice and direct discrimination against millions of citizens,” the letter further stated.

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The authors of the letter went on to say that as the nation grapples with the COVID-19 pandemic, it is imperative to note official transmission guidance. “The virus spreads primarily from person to person and cash poses the same or less risk than plastic/card payments. There is no scientific basis for new concern about the safety of cash,” they said.

The letter from the associations follows a letter last month from J.R. Davis, president of Davis Bancorp where he warned, “While the COVID-19 pandemic has affected all of us, it is no secret that it has been particularly devastating for those who have the least. You may not be aware that throughout Chicago and around the country some well-meaning companies and businesses have banned the use of cash and moved to a cashless system for all of their business transactions.” “Although this decision may seem reasonable at first glance, it is not safer and is indeed harmful while disproportionally impacting the working poor and people of color,” he said.

“The real danger of this policy is for those already disproportionately suffering from the virus and that an inability to pay with cash means a reliance on costly third-party digital networks and sacrifice of consumer privacy. Most importantly, it means limited access to basic goods and services needed to survive,” Davis concluded.

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The effort of the financial services executives is timely. In February, seven members of Congress sent a letter to President Biden requesting that his economic team work to protect the rights of consumers to pay for goods and services with cash at retail businesses.

About Secure Cash Transportation Association
Headquartered in Virginia, the Secure Cash Transportation Association (SCTA) is a non-profit association established to represent the shared interests of professionals in the financial services, cash logistics, and risk management industry throughout North America. Industries represented by the SCTA include insurance providers, vehicle manufacturers, depository institutions, retail corporations, and transportation operators from across the United States.

About Independent Armored Car Operators Association
Based in Texas, the Independent Armored Car Operators Association (IACOA) was founded to provide an association for privately owned armored car companies seeking to promote high standards of operation. IACOA members collaborate on areas of education, transportation, legislative awareness, and technological advances. Over its history, the organization has grown to include companies throughout the country.

About ATM Industry Association
The ATM Industry Association (ATMIA) is the leading non-profit trade association representing the U.S. ATM industry and principally located in South Dakota. Members include banking institutions, independent ATM deployers, equipment manufacturers, processors, and other payment ecosystem providers committed to high standards of education and operations in the financial services industry.

About Davis Bancorp
Founded in 1951, Davis Bancorp is a privately held American, protective services and cash-in-transit company. Davis is headquartered in Chicago and responsible for high security logistics and high value operations at thousands of area institutions, including banking centers, commercial retailer stores, governmental facilities, and other client sites throughout the Midwest.

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SOURCE Davis Bancorp