All cashless should be banned

The growing shift towards digital payments is strongly debated among governments, central banks and financial experts. The proliferation of new electronic and mobile instruments has opened the door to a possible revolution of the payments landscape. Yet, various factors must be taken into account, as a national shift to cashless could prove more complex than believed.

To justify a withdrawal of paper money, the argument is that a fully digitalised system could eradicate tax evasion and money laundering, reduce transaction costs and enable financial authorities to stimulate economic growth. A cashless system can also enable governments to track every transaction, leaving no loopholes for fraudsters. Central banks would be able to impose any desired monetary policy, including negative rates, as consumers would have no way to retrieve their cash from the banking system.

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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.

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