‘Regulation ensuring protection of vulnerable groups or consumers, use of cash is guaranteed as a fundamental element to protect their rights’ – Bibiana Medialdea, general director of Consumption
THE newly adopted Consumer Protection Law allows consumers the freedom to pay in cash with authorities placing sanctions on retailers for refusing payments in cash.
The Royal Decree 24/2021 or General Law for the Protection of Consumers and Users, making it mandatory for retailers to accept cash, entered into force on May 28. Refusing a payment in cash is considered a violation of the law.
The refusal of a payment in cash is considered a minor offence, however it can become severe under certain conditions.
If a retailer takes advantage of the demand for specific products or services or repeatedly refuses cash payments and thereby causes serious, unjust, and unforeseeable social disturbances.
“With this regulation, created with the aim of ensuring the protection of vulnerable groups or consumers, the use of cash is guaranteed as a fundamental element to protect their rights”, said Bibiana Medialdea, general director of Consumption.
Medialdea spoke at a recent conference on ‘Access to cash, a universal right and a barrier against financial exclusion’, organised by the Denaria Platform, an association for the defence of cash.
This legislative measure is fully supported by popular opinion, as shown by the “Survey on the need for the permanence of cash,” commissioned by Plataforma Denaria in September 2021.
90% of Spaniards defend the need for cash as a payment method, more than 70% of the population considers it necessary for our society, and 77% describe it as a ‘public good’.
Despite this new legislation, Spain continues to impose a limit on cash payments exceeding €1,000 when at least one of the parties involved in the transaction is acting in a professional or business capacity.
In March 2022, the European Central Bank vehemently criticised the measure in a published opinion.