The Swiss Freedom Movement announced it had gathered enough signatures – a grand total of 111 thousand– to call for a referendum on safeguarding cash use.
The draft bill proposes adding a clause to the Swiss currency act, which will require the central bank and government to ensure that an adequate supply of coins and banknotes remain in circulation. Should the referendum be approved during its vote – as is traditional under Switzerland’s direct democracy system – it would then become law. It is up to parliament and the government, however, to decide how it is implemented.
Cash usage has been on the decline for some years now in Switzerland, like it has across many other countries. According to a 2020 survey conducted by the Swiss National Bank, 97 percent of people still keep cash in their wallets to pay for everyday expenses and 40 percent of transactions are also made in cash – much higher than most other countries.