Featured Above: Homepage of Yes to Cash Norway (JA til Kontanter). The main story is about the letter to the Minister of Finance, a letter which may have lead to the first big bank rethinking of their digitization strategy.
Global YES to CASH is not about attacking private banking institutions. Global YES to CASH is about stimulating thought as to the essential nature of sustaining our ability to have and hold cash, while sharing alternative solutions to establishing sound an sustainable monetary trade system. We hope that through this educational process, that banks may again become solvent and sustainable institutions, and receive a return of goodwill from we the people in reward to hearing our position. The article below is also indirectly about how banks can return to a sound bankcraft and business .
No matter what you’re up against , you can always win! Even in standing in opposition to several large banking institutions’ desires to digitize all currency transactions, in that they may track all of our monetary exchanges for whatever myriad of reasons they wish to use this data. Yes to Cash in Norway partly experienced that January 30th, when the biggest bank of Norway, and partly government owned DnB, officially acknowledged that the bank was wrong when they thought they would make all customers solely use digital services.
DnB was the bank that really set the fire of Yes to Cash, and the fight that ensued to preserve our natural right to have and hold cash here in Norway.
Two years ago they told the media that they wanted cash completely removed from society. That there was no longer any use for cash, and they did this right in the middle of a gigantic digitization project they have for the whole bank.
Made cash impossible
One branch after the other was closed, and ATMs were removed left, right and center all over Norway. In some of Norway, people had to travel more than 60 kilometers just to find an ATM, the only source of cash right now. The fees for using any analog solution went through the roof. DnB and others charged 12 dollars just to pay your bill over the counter, in the few banks that had any counters left. They still do.
After that, the message from the banks in Norway was that the customers no longer want to use use cash, so let’s get rid of it altogether. And the media followed up, as microphone tripods for the banks, and the fintech industry. No one in the media advocated for the benefits of cash, the need for privacy (no tracking of our buying patterns) and the needs for older and handicapped people. All media sources were myopic, and standing on only one side of the story line. That is until Yes to Cash was started on Facebook.
The rest is now history, and DnB’s admission today, is truly a story of success of what a small group of people can accomplish, when they are not afraid to speak their true opinions, and take a stance to inform the public of their options! It is a story of a strategy being far more effective than even the founder of Yes to Cash could dream of. A strategy of winning enough people, the media and then the Parliament.
The Minister of Finance challenged
The Minister of Finance has now been challenged by an MP, and the we the people involved Yes to Cash. For how long will the banks be allowed to break Norwegian laws in refusing to manage cash within their publicly regulated institutions? She (Minister of Finance Siv Jensen) gave them a promise. She would send in her financial authorities to check on the banks. A guess is that, maybe her ensuing report will be about what they found, and what she will do.
This may partly be responsible for why DnB is now changing their ways, at least with consideration to some of their digitization strategies.DnB admission, a game changer Even though the DnB admission was not directly about cash, it’s no doubt a game changer in Norway. In total, about 200,000 Norwegian customers still use mail telegiro, or pay bills and make outlets over the counter according to media reports in Norway. Director Hans Olav Roenningen at DNB’s customer center states that 100,000 of them are DNB customers.
“We thought we could help everyone to become digital. We were wrong and realize now that we have ran away from these customers”, he says. DnB talked with 400 of these customers on phone, finally realizing that using computers or social media to do this research would completely miss the target. Roenningen says that it will not be necessary to reopen any of the branches that were closed two years ago, but says that the bank is considering retrieving some of the old banking services that have been “far down in the drawer.”
If we should take a direct poll on the website of one of the major news media in Norway seriously…it shows that DnB is making a very smart move. The question is: “Do you understand and accept that a fairly big group of banking customers refuse being digital?” Approximately 80% answered YES, with the number having answered totaling more than 5,000 people. So far, DnB is alone in Norway seeing the error of their digital imposition. Their competitors, Swedish Nordea and Handelsbanken will still try to guide their customers to digital platforms.