It is likely that many readers are familiar with the efforts of global financial insiders to either eliminate or minimize the use of cash in financial transactions. Such efforts are continuing as these links affirm. VISA is trying to offer businesses lump-sum payments to induce them to stop accepting cash in their business transactions. In the short term, such measures drive more business to credit cards which would enrich the bottom lines of companies like VISA. In the long term, it would be another step away from using cash at all in business transactions.
The first link discusses whether such a move by VISA is even legal to offer or for businesses to accept. Since, in the USA, currency is in the form of US Federal Reserve Notes which state on them: “This Note is Legal Tender for all Debts, Public and Private,” can any business refuse to accept them as payment for purchases? That is a good question, and the link offers arguments on this matter when examined from the standpoint of “What is a Debt?”–legally speaking. This discussion also begs a further question: If Federal Reserve Notes can be legally refused as payments for purchases, why even have a Federal Reserve Bank any longer at all?
The second link notes that any effort to ban cash has a huge obstacle to surmount. It states that in 2016, over $2 trillion in cash and check transactions occurred, and that this amount was actually up by 2% over the previous year. In other words, the public’s preference for payments in cash and checks is actually increasing, not decreasing. Also, since credit card transactions come with a transaction fee payable by merchants to credit card companies, there is actually a strong financial incentive for businesses to encourage payments in cash instead of credit cards (they can avoid paying transaction fees to credit card issuers and thereby keep their prices lower). The third link adds one more perspective on this topic.
There is a global effort in many nations to discourage or ban the use of cash. Each nation has a unique commercial environment and these environments can vary radically from nation to nation. Nations with massive black markets can limit those markets by banning cash or least by withdrawing large denomination notes from circulation (as India has done). Let’s look at the USA’s situation. It would be very hard to eliminate the use of cash in America. I think there is a law that all US monies introduced into circulation must always be accepted in payments. Any such law would have to be changed before cash could be banned. Because the US dollar is also a global reserve currency, many nations have US currency in their national monetary reserves. These nations would be financially traumatized if their currency in reserve accounts was rendered valueless. Such an action could cause depressions in various nations. Also, a huge industry within the USA needs cash and currency as the only form of acceptable payment. How many millions of vending machines or coin-operated machines exist in the USA? When one considers all the soft-drink, food and candy vending machines, coin-operated copiers, etc. that take coins or currency bills as the only form of payment, it would be hard or impossible to eliminate all coins and currency. It would be difficult to use credit cards in such machines unless credit card issuers waived transaction fees. Huge numbers of servers and people in retail situations also depend on cash tips for part or much of their income. They depend on cash staying in circulation for their incomes.
It is worth noting that the USA has two kinds of “money” being used as cash. The aforementioned Federal Reserve Notes constitute the paper money currency in circulation; however, all coins are issued by the US Treasury–not the Fed. If Federal Reserve Notes were ever banned from the marketplace (an unlikely occurrence under current realities), US coins would presumably continue to circulate as cash. That would vastly reduce the money supply in circulation, of course, as American coins have such low face value.
Biblically, we know that Revelation 13:11-18 includes verses that state that after the beast power is instituted globally, it will exercise control over financial transactions via its “mark” that will be used in such transactions. That is found in verse 16-17, but I’d like to point out there is some “give” in those verses about how widely this mark will be required. Note that verse 17 prophesies that financial transactions can occur if one of three factors is present in the transaction. It must have (A) the mark of the beast, (B) the name of the beast, or (C) the number (6 6 6) of the beast in it. There can be considerable discussion about what these three forms of acceptable financial transactions will be like, but I simply want to note in this post that there will be three ways of conducting transactions in the beast’s global system. Only one involves the actual “mark” of the Beast. We also don’t know what kind of transactions John was actually seeing in his vision of events some 2000 years into his future. Was he seeing stock, commodity and bond markets in action where large transactions were occurring? Was he seeing international trade agreements being transacted? I’d like to suggest that John may not have been seeing transactions as small as you buying a candy bar and a sandwich at a gas station/superette when you are driving your car on the Interstate or buying a newspaper at a local store, or paying for a meal at a drive-up window at a fast food restaurant. It is possible that we Christians have interpreted John’s prophetic vision far more expansively than what he intended to convey to future readers about what he was witnessing. I make no judgment on how expansively John meant his vision’s language to be applied or understood in our modern economy, but I do want to leave readers with the realization that we don’t know what kind of financial transactions John was witnessing in the business deals being conducted in Revelation 3:16-17. Keep that in mind as we live deeper into the latter days when this prophecy will eventually be fulfilled.