Analysis: Italy's cash payments U-turn is all gain, no pain

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Dropping a plan to boost small cash payments is the smart thing for Italy to do - the measure could not have stopped the inevitable digital transition, data show, while it was already hurting the country's image.

A one percentage point increase in the use of cash leads to a 0.8-1.8 percentage point rise in undeclared value added tax , Italy's cen

"It was designed to please a minority of shopkeepers who are ready to put up a fight when you want to use your card to pay for coffee or a bunch of apples," PwC partner Marco Folcia said.Even before the digital acceleration brought about by the pandemic, Italy had seen the share of cash payments in value fall to 58% in 2019 from 68% in 2016.

"The fines date back to June, yet cashless payments have been steadily increasing for years," Equita said. However, prevailing commercial offers from electronic payment suppliers charge no fees on transactions below 10 euros.

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