The new Denária Portugal association, whose trustee is Mário Frota, president emeritus of apDC – Associação Portuguesa de Direito do Consumo, advocates fines for entities that do not accept cash payments, according to a statement.
“Denária Portugal (a non-profit association) was created to defend the right to use cash as a universally accepted means of payment,” said an official source, questioned by Lusa.
The organization’s mission “is to prevent and warn of the risks of limiting its use as a form of payment, accessible to all segments of the population, particularly those who need greater protection, such as the elderly and those with some kind of disability”.
Mário Frota, who was quoted in the statement, said that “cash is a very important method of payment for citizens, it is the legal tender that facilitates the financial inclusion of all groups and segments of the population in an equitable manner”.
In addition, he emphasized that “cash is the only payment alternative in situations of natural disasters, cyberattacks or any technological incident, a safe store of value for citizens in relation to fraud and cybercrime”.
Mário Frota also said that one of the association’s first missions “will be to contribute to the essential creation of a sanctioning framework for services that refuse cash as a means of payment”, which does not currently exist.
The association also said that it had also prepared, “in conjunction with the Pitagórica polling company, a study on the use of cash in Portugal, which will be made known in the next few days when it is presented to the public”.
Denária said that “for 85% of those surveyed, the law should oblige commercial establishments to accept payment in cash, and the majority of them support fines for those who don’t accept payment in cash”.
According to an official source, in the same response to Lusa, the association was created at this time because they believe that this “is the right time to warn of the effects of digitalization that is not inclusive and that restricts consumer options, particularly with regard to means of payment”.
The organization is also aligned “with a networking movement in Europe that has already led to the creation of Denária Spain and Payments Choice in the UK”.
The association will have its official presentation on February 22, he said, and between members and institutional partners, it already has eight entities and expects to double by the end of the year.
Among them are apDC, ACOP – Associação de Consumidores de Portugal and SEMEAR (training for people with intellectual difficulties).