A man uses his smartphone to scan an Alipay two-dimensional code for payments at the first unmanned supermarket in Hangzhou, Zhejiang province.
Several electonic payment service providers have launched "no cash days" with the aim of boosting the popularity of electronic payments. However, some of the shops participating in the activities have reportedly refused to accept cash payments from their customers. Gmw.cn comments:
With the fast development of information technology, e-payments are an irreversible trend. In Beijing and some other metropolises, it is already common for people to pay for meals, shopping and entertainment using their smartphones and payment apps.
That's why the no cash days have attracted so many shops, restaurants and entertainment venues to participate. However, the reality is we still cannot pay for everything using e-payments. When a shop refuses cash because it is participating in a no cash day initiated by the e-payment service providers it is inconvenient for some. By doing so, a shop is actually setting an unfair condition for trading with customers, which is against the law.
Besides, no cash days should be a kind of encouragement for people to embrace a cashless society, not compulsory. According to the law, the renminbi is the legal currency of China. Those refusing to accept cash payments have therefore violated the law.
It is time for the organizers of the no cash days to rethink their measures. They are commercial companies and they have no power to make decisions for consumers. The authorities also need to intervene and stop customers' legal rights being violated in this way.
More importantly, the no cash day activities show that mobile payment competition among internet companies is becoming increasingly fierce, which calls for the authorities to properly guide and regulate e-payment service providers.