Local man Jock McArdle told the Dundalk Leader that it would be “madness” to make NCT test centres cashless.
The well-known former retailer said that he is “totally against the idea” as “it would give too much power to the banks to control all of your money”.
“The banks will charge fees on cards and your €50 would diminish for example. I think it’s a total con job by banks and big business,” he said.
The operator of the NCT, Applus+ recently announced that test centres were going cashless for the “safety and convenience” of customers.
Since the announcement, Minister of State at the Department of Transport Jack Chambers has said that no change has been agreed that would make the NCT cashless. The Minister confirmed yesterday morning (Tuesday) that the national car testing service will not be removing cash as a payment option.
“I was in retail for 40 years and one Christmas, all of the Visa machines crashed and people had to queue outside the ATM to get cash,” said Jock.
“It’s a small example of what can happen. A storm had caused an electrical fault. It’s absolute madness. I can’t see it working.
“If the payment machines went down in the supermarket, you’ve got no other option until the power is restored.”
Jock added: “There is a place for credit and debit cards in society but I don’t think people should be overly reliant on them.
“Nature has to be taken into account. There could be thunderstorms, lightning and a pylon could come down.
“What do you do? Where do you go? Some people might also find it harder to keep track of their spending.”
He concluded: “People don’t realise what they would be giving away by changing into a cashless society.
“The younger generation have grown up with electronic devices. They don’t know what they will lose by going cashless.
“For older generations, cash was king as they say. The younger generation is giving away serious freedom.”
Last year a European Central Bank survey showed that Ireland have been embracing using cards or mobile apps when shopping. 37% of all transactions in 2022 were done using a card and while 54% of consumers used cash for in store purchases that figure was 19% lower than in 2019. It was also 5% lower than the eurozone average of 59%. Of the 19 Eurozone countries Ireland was second only to Belgium when it came to shopping online.