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Valais initiative ‘Farinet’ local currency to be withdrawn from circulation

Farinet local currency

Farinet banknotes were introduced in Valais in western Switzerland in spring 2017 to stimulate the local economy.

(© Keystone / Olivier Maire)

The Farinet – a local currency introduced in canton Valais in 2017 – is to be withdrawn from circulation at the end of 2019 after failing to stimulate the regional economy as hoped. 

Farinet banknotes were introduced in Valais in western Switzerland in spring 2017. But on Tuesday the association external linkbehind the currency announced it planned to withdraw it at the end of this year.

“Although a large part of the local population thought it was an excellent idea, ideas alone are not enough to make a sustainable impact on the local economy,” the association said in a statement. 

It said businesses that were dealing with the Farinet were already doing much to support the local economy and those that it hoped to reach rarely used it. It added that competition from electronic payment methods were also too strong for the paper currency. 

The association thus decided to call it a day at its general assembly on Monday. People still in possession of Farinet notes can use them at partner shops until December 31. 

A similar local currency, the Lémanexternal link, was launched in Geneva in 2015 to stimulate local transactions. Tens of thousands of notes are now in circulation and accepted by 550 businesses in the Lake Geneva and neighbouring French region.

Growing movement Boosting the local economy

Complementary currencies are a growing phenomenon in Switzerland, such as the Léman, used around Lake Geneva, and the soon-to-appear Farinet.

Keystone-SDA/sb

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