A cashless society will come at an ecological cost

While all technological advances are also judged on their environmental impact, it seems that the debate on the cashless society has not sufficiently taken this issue into account. Transition to digital technology and cashless payments is not such an eco-friendly move as it might seem.

Modern society is going digital, and the financial services industry is at the forefront. We receive smartphone notification instead of advice slips, online application is just enough to get a loan, and non-cash payments are increasingly replacing paper money. Production and consumption of paper in the banking sector is declining, much to delight of those concerned about the environment.

However, it is becoming increasingly obvious that some companies that support these ideas care about profits, rather than about environment. Let’s take a closer look at the situation and see if the paperless –and cashless -society can save the planet.

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The cashless society from an ethical point of view

The debate about the move towards a cashless society has been at the center of the scene for several years, now. Various angles have been taken by economists, politicians, banking institutions and sociologists. Beyond the technicalities of the debate, lies the question of freedom, of inter-citizen solidarity and of governmental responsibility. The debate cannot remain in the hands of financial specialists, it is first and foremost an ethical, political and societal issue.

The cashless society from an ethical point of view