Academic research

Welcome to Cashless Economy: Digital frauds are booming - 04/21/2021

Statistics show that the COVID-19 global pandemic has had a major impact on the criminal economy and led to a dramatic increase in fraud. Dr Nicola Harding, Academic Advisor at We Fight Fraud and Lecturer in Criminology at Lancaster University Law School, explores how the pandemic has changed criminal behaviour and its implications for the banking and finance industries. In “#CRIME: How COVID-19 forced ‘everyday’ criminal commerce into the digital banking age”, my recent whitepaper with We Fight Fraud (WFF) shows how criminals are moving towards transacting the proceeds of their crimes via...

How cashless can lead to unhealthy consumption - 02/01/2021

The widespread use of cashless payments including credit cards, debit cards, and mobile apps has made transactions more convenient for consumers. However, results from previous research have shown that such cashless payments can increase consumers' spending on unhealthy food. "Why Do Cashless Payments Increase Unhealthy Consumption? The Decision-Risk Inattention Hypothesis," a newly published article in the Journal of the Association for Consumer Research, explains this phenomenon by showing how changes in bodily responses to cashless payments influence consumers responses. Authors Joowon...

Value of money: children can't understand it in a cashless society - 10/16/2020

The rise of cashless pocket money means children are in danger of no longer understanding the value of money, a think tank warned. A report by WealthiHer found that the number of 11-year-olds receiving an allowance paid directly into a bank account rather than handed over in cash has risen by 20 per cent in the past six months. It said that without better financial education in schools, the demise of children handling actual notes and coins could lead to them having a lack of understanding of financial basics. Read more

Cash still rules and will remain - 06/17/2020

Cash still accounts for a significant share of payment transactions in most advanced economies (Bagnall et al. 2016). However, it is a widely held presumption that the recent innovations of contactless, mobile and instant payments will accelerate the move to a cashless society. This would pose challenges to central banks who have a mandate to guarantee a safe, efficient and broadly accessible payment system. To counterbalance ongoing payment innovations and an expected strong decline in cash demand – as has been observed e.g. in Sweden – many central banks are now contemplating the...

Ecology: The Carbon Footprint of the New Means of Payment - 02/20/2019

When we think about ecology and reducing our carbon footprint, suppressing cash might seem like a good idea: no trees cut, no paper used, no transportation and so on. Yet, a closer look at cashless payment means shows that using cash actually produces less carbon emissions. Read more

Children, education and the ethical issue in a cashless society - 02/11/2019

Cashless payments are on the rise, and children have less opportunity to hold physical money in their hands. Banks issue cards for children, and you can easily find an application to track your kid’s payments on AppStore or Google Play. However, electronic piggy banks come at a cost. Cashless payments affect how children perceive the source of income and what they think about savings. They also deprive kids of important communication experiences, and these effects may have an impact in the future. Read more

John Howland Cochrane, economist and professor at Berkeley: "The ability to transact with anonymity and privacy has been a central freedom for hundreds of years." - 01/15/2019

Economist John Howland Cochrane addressed the question of new cryptocurrencies, cashless societies and the future of tax evasion. At the heart of his concerns, lies the question of privacy. Governments, to contain tax evasion, are favorable to the war on cash, and considering using a blockchain-currency of their own. To be fair, it was initially the banking sector’s idea, but governments had similar and compatible interests in acquiring more economic visibility - something cash does not provide. Whichever the medium used, the idea is to make all payments appear on radars of banks and the...

Sustainable Development: the Danger of Electronic Payments - 01/15/2019

We often hear about sustainable development, and almost every industry tries to contribute to a better future, including the sphere of non-cash payments. However, in reality it turns out that the entire industry does more harm than good, and does not correspond, but rather goes against the goals of sustainable development. On the other hand, convenient paper money is more environmentally friendly, and can be an excellent alternative for those who want to take care of the environment. Read more

The High Price of a Cashless Society: Exchanging Privacy Rights for Digital Cash - 06/04/2018

The John Marshall Journal of Information Technology & Privacy Law Volume 14 - Issue 2 Journal of Computer & Information Law

The cashless society hurts the poor: experience feedback from India - 06/04/2018

"My own research on the persistence of Delhi’s informal recycling economy shows just how important cash is to low-income laborers", says Dana Kornberg, Ph.D. Candidate in Sociology at the University of Michigan. (...) "If such a future exists, it is still a long way off, at least in India. According to a 2014 study, just 10 percent of Indians over 15 had ever made a digital payment. And in countries where a large share of transactions are already done digitally, there’s evidence that this does not serve the poor well." Read more

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.

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