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Friday, June 17, 2022

U.S. House approves Payment Choice Act

Cash supporters are celebrating June 16, 2022, the day the U.S. House of Representatives passed HR-4395, the Payment Choice Act of 2022 (PCA). Designed to include cash among other payment options, the bill classifies cash as legal tender throughout the United States, noted Bruce Renard, executive director of the National ATM Council.

Renard thanked a long list of PCA supporters, beginning with Maxine Waters, D-Calif., chair of the House Financial Services Committee, HR-4395 co-sponsors Reps. Donald Payne Jr., D-N.J., Chris Smith, R-N.J., and Sylvia Garcia, D-Texas, and other House members who led the effort to preserve cash as a payments option. In addition, he commended the following NAC affiliates:

  • Jon Alexander, NAC Governmental Affairs Counsel
  • George LeMaistre, Jr., Founder of Monument Strategies
  • Mike Powell, NAC Financial Services Legal Consultant, NAC Governmental Affairs Committee and founder of First Regents Bancservices LLC
  • George Sarantopoulos, NAC board of directors chair and CEO of Access One Solutions Inc.

Sarantopoulos agreed with Renard, stating the PCA is the culmination of years of effort. "The National ATM Council has been working in concert with other organizations to get the government to keep cash around not only for our respective industry but for everyday working people," he said.

Historic milestone

"Passage of the PCA by the House represents the culmination of years of focused effort by NAC's Governmental Affairs team, its Board of Directors and Board Officers, and the diverse members of the Consumer Choice in Payment Coalition, which NAC helped bring together," Renard said. "NAC thanks and applauds the exceptional contributions of these individuals and organizations who have worked so tirelessly and effectively on this initiative."

Renard additionally noted that HR-4395 received solid support from private and public advocates and domestic and global business organizations. As noted in committee meetings, approximately 55 million American are unbanked or underbanked and rely on cash, and numerous Americans appreciate having the choice to pay for everyday transactions in cash, he stated. PCA supporters believe the bill protects essential freedoms, he added, including privacy, freedom of choice and access to emergency funds during times when non-cash payment methods are not available.

After seeing PCA pass the House Financial Services Committee by a vote of 32 to 17, NAC members were elated by an historic 224 to 198 vote in the House of Representatives, upholding the fundamental freedom to use cash as a payments option. If passed into law, the bill will require brick-and-mortar retail businesses to accept cash payment for purchases of goods and services up to $2,000.

"While yesterday's groundbreaking public policy endorsement of cash by the U.S. House of Representatives is a major accomplishment for NAC and ATM Nation, our work is not done," Renard said. "Our country and all its citizens have won an important victory in the House, and now we must take the battle to preserve cash as our nation's legal tender to the U.S. Senate and ultimately to the president's desk." end of article

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