Rome (ITALY), 15 november 2013 – The CashlessWay association has been set up to provide a “Global Hub for ePayment Awareness” – the first such reference point in Europe for the e-payments sector. CashlessWay is a think-tank aimed at researching and creating new initiatives aimed at informing the public about the advantages of e-payments, and incentivising better understanding of payment methods.
Geronimo Emili and Andrea Begnini set up CashlessWay as a result of their constant battle to promote “No Cash Day” – the first official day against the use of cash. In 2010, they set up – and still publish – theWaroncash.org blog, the only source of e-payment information in Italy, as well as initiatives like #Nocashtrip– the first cashless journey made by two bloggers and a journalist (sponsored by MasterCard, Eni, Samsungand Citroën).
CashlessWay has the immediate aim of serving all European nations, but will begin in Italy where, today, there is a shocking contradiction: 25 million Italians have a smartphone, and the nation is the world leader in social media penetration with over 23 million users (sources: CeTif, Catholic University of the Sacred Heart of Milan). In addition, there are 72 million active credit, debit and prepaid cards (source: Banca d’Italia), yetonly 15% of transactions are attributed to “cashless” systems, and only half of that 15% is made with payment cards. This is a shocking gap compared to our European cousins that, if resolved, could generate an overall economic saving of around 0.3 percent of GDP (source: Finance Commission ‘question time’).
CashlessWay targets the entire e-payment sector – from government institutions, the banking industry, payment systems, telecoms and technology companies, major retailers, transportation, online merchants, consultancies, as well as new payment methods. This is a huge field currently undergoing massive expansion. All its participants are invited to join our association in working together with consumers to understand where the obstacles are in increasing the use of e-payments.
One of the reasons why this fight against cash is necessary is the worrying size of the underground economythat, according to Confcommercio (the General Federation of Italian Commerce, Tourism, Services and Small and Medium-sized Enterprises) stands at 17.4% (€272 billion), while EURISPES claims the black market could be as high as 530bn. By contrast, that percentage is just 6.7% in the UK, 5.3% in the USA, 3.9% in France, and a mere 0.3% in Norway.
“It took us three years to prepare the foundations for this association: the time to speed up the process of social and technical developments linked to this new intangible world of money is now, in order to open up commercial cultural borders and increase opportunities to meet.” – Geronimo Emili, President, CashlessWay
The founding partners of CashlessWay include – in addition to Emili and Begnini themselves – the renowned finance expert Franco Asquini, a former member, VP, and President of the Board of Directors, for Banca del Friuli (Friuli Bank), Unicredit Banca, Locat Leasing, Mediocredito FVG, as well as President and CEO of Finanziaira Regionale FVG Friulia (Friulia FVG Regional Financing).
Advisory Board members:
Raffaele Barberio (editor in chief Key4biz), Marc Chatenier (Vicepresident Capgemini Italy), Gianluigi De Stefano, (journalist, TV author), Alessandro Ermolli (CEO Sin&rgetica), Pietro Guastamacchia (Mosca, Confindustria Russia), Alessandro Longo (journalist), Alessandro Longoni (Amsterdam, Innopay), Alessandro Meloncelli, (Fiscalist), Leone Ouazana (Institutional Relations and Public Affairs, Telit) Sandro Pellò (Vicepresident Hill & Knowlton Italy), Gianni Riotta (journalist and writer), Giovanni Vattani (Payments managment Enel).