However, the country has launched a crackdown on cash refusal. From July to December, 602 cases of cash refusal have been handled by People's Bank of China, the country’s central bank.

Electronic payment is already considered a common conduct of modern times. So, why is the central bank making such a big move to stress the importance of cash payment?

The most important reason is that cash refusal is against the law. It is stipulated by the law the legal tender of the country is the Reminbi(RMB).

When the RMB is used to repay all public or private debts within the territory of the People's Republic of China, no units or individuals shall refuse to accept it.

If cash refusal becomes prevalent, people will lose confidence in China’s legal tender, which will further result in the loss of payment function of the currency.

In addition, refusing to accept cash damages equality.

Though electronic payment has changed people’s consumption habits and lifestyle, the payment method is still not able to cover all the population, for instance, the aging group and people in less-developed regions. The complicated process to open electronic bank accounts and use mobile applications is unquestionably difficult for them.

Consumers have the right to choose payment methods, and to reject cash is nothing but unreasonable deprivation of such right.

In modern society, technology advancement should offer more options, and make life better for all people, especially the vulnerable groups.

Besides, rejecting cash has a negative effect on people’s livelihood.

The People’s Bank of China stressed that the rectification will not generate biased influence on payment methods, industrial development or technological innovation. It is not aimed at containing the development of e-payment, but the protection of people’s rights.

In recent years, some regions have achieved rapid development in the construction of smart cities. Some of them are even holding the banner of “cashless city” and “cashless community”. However, “cashless” never means the rejection of cash.

The development of payment methods is to improve people’s livelihoods, so are the efforts made to guarantee an environment where cash can circulate freely.

(Compiled by Sun Wenjue)

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