Asia still likes cash

DESPITE the increase in online payment transactions due to the pandemic, experts from the Asian Development Bank (ADB) said the world can’t discount cash yet.

In an Asian Development Blog, ADB North America Office Representative Bart Édes and Former Senior Editor Alastair Dingwall said cash is deeply embedded in day-to-day life in many countries, making it an important tool in local economies.

Édes and Dingwall also said many electronic platforms are not covered by banking regulations or insured by institutions such as the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. in the US.

“Cash is deeply embedded in the daily life of some countries,” the authors said. “For farmers in Indonesia, vendors in Cambodia or pedicab drivers in Bangladesh, the concept of using an app over cash is still far-fetched. But it is a lot more plausible now than it was before the pandemic.”

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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

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