Big Brother enjoys COVID-19 and cashless payments

Never let a good crisis go to waste, the old saying goes, and we can see that clearly with ‘Covid-19 health concerns’ being used as an excuse to stop people exercising their right to pay in cash.

The drive towards a cashless society was well under way even before we’d ever heard the words ‘Covid-19’ but it’s been greatly accelerated in Britain these last few weeks. Either businesses have stopped people paying in cash, or they’ve said that if anyone still wants to use cash and coins, no change will be given if it’s not the right amount.

In April, it was announced that passengers on Go North East buses would have to have the exact amount to pay for their fare, or else they would have to pay by card. The managing director of the company said: “This is the latest change we’ve made to improve safety for both our workforce and our customers.”

Other bus operators, including Stagecoach South East (see the tweet above), have followed suit, which begs the question: Just how dangerous to the safety of the workforce and customers is handling cash?

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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

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