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First toilet paper, now small change. As the seriousness of COVID-19 became clear, Americans stocked up on toilet paper before heading into quarantine. The resulting shortage of that particular product was one of the more peculiar side effects of the pandemic. Now months later another, a perhaps more serious shortage is at hand. In June, Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell informed that Congress America’s coin supply had dwindled due to COVID. Since then, the question I am most often asked “is the coin shortage real?” This is usually followed by “or is this the federal government’s...

Survey shows cash is still popular - 10/24/2019

One of the biggest trends of the modern era involves the economy moving away from cash based transactions. Instead, paper money and all other physical forms of cash are slowly starting to be replaced with online transactions. With PayPal, Venmo and other online modes of transferring money from one person to another quickly becoming far more popular as time goes by, it seems like it’s only a matter of time before cash becomes a thing of the past, something that modern people simply do not use anymore. However, a recent survey conducted by JD Power reveals that the cashless future is not...

Cash is not dead: most Americans have reservations on going cashless - 10/15/2019

As mobile payments and credit cards offer alternative methods of payment to cold hard cash, 82% of Americans said they still carry cash for certain transactions, according to a survey by J.D. Power.   One-quarter (25%) of all respondents said they have $50 or more on hand at any given time. Sixty-seven percent of respondents said they used cash to make a purchase during the past week, while 61% said they used a debit card, 54% used a credit card, and 20% of consumers reported using a mobile phone or smartwatch to make a purchase.   The report also mentions the rise of chains,...

Philadelphia’s ban on cashless stores went into effect - 10/09/2019

On Oct. 1, Philadelphia officially became the first major U.S. city to completely ban cashless stores, requiring city-wide retail locations to accept cash payments. Businesses that fail to comply with the bill’s demands will incur charges of up to $2,000, CBS Philly reported.   USA Today reported that proponents of this bill argue that cashless establishments are discriminatory towards low-income groups with limited access to credit cards and banking accounts. In Philadelphia, 24.5 percent of the population is below the poverty line, according to a 2018 report from the U.S. Census...

The future of cashless businesses at risk in a context of classism criticism - 10/04/2019

In 2017, Visa offered tens of thousands of dollars in assistance to any business willing to partake in its Cashless Challenge and begin refusing to accept cash. This initiative fit broadly into the company’s vision of a Cashless World. As credit card companies, tech moguls, small businesses and even the entire country of Sweden move toward this proclaimed hyperefficient future without cash, some have begun to question just how inclusive this cashless world really is and what its effects on disadvantaged communities in Washington, D.C., will be.   As more businesses begin refusing cash...

Doing without cash will mean much less fun - 10/03/2019

Fewer and fewer people are using cash. High street stores say that for till payments, cash has fallen behind debit and credit cards, making it only the third most popular way to pay.   One in ten adults in the UK are now choosing to live a largely cashless life, data from the banking body UK Finance reveals, as contactless and mobile payments surge in popularity. Among those aged 25 to 34, the figure rises to more than one in six (17 per cent).   It looks more and more like we are moving to a cashless society.   It will be a sad day when that happens. For a start, what...

Failure of cashless initiatives shows people care about cash - 10/02/2019

As the world adopts the digitisation of everyday life, there is a global trend aiming at financial inclusion. The improvements in technology have resulted in opportunities for payment solutions and governments to offer more affordable transacting for the previously unbanked. However, that is not to say that a cashless society is a utopian one.   Cashless transacting enables organisations to engage with customers in more meaningful and personalised ways due to the data they generate about habits, preferences and other trends. As consumer adoption of digital technologies continues to...

A growing number of cities say no to cashless stores - 09/13/2019

It's becoming more and more common. You grab a sandwich for lunch, pick out a new pair of jeans, then tap your phone or hand over your credit card because paying with cash is no longer an option. It may be quick. It may be easy. But is it fair? A growing number of lawmakers don't think so. From Philadelphia to San Francisco, several cities and states have passed or are considering bills that prohibit retailers from refusing to accept cash, a policy they say shuts out the millions of Americans who don't have a bank account, lack credit cards or don't have photo...

Stats Canada requested banking information of 500,000 Canadians without their knowledge - 05/24/2019

Statistics Canada is asking banks across the country for financial transaction data and personal information of 500,000 Canadians without their knowledge, Global News has learned. Documents obtained by Global News show the national statistical agency plans to collect “individual-level financial transactions data” and sensitive information, like social insurance numbers (SIN), from Canadian financial institutions to develop a “new institutional personal information bank.” Read more

Lawmakers in US Congress propose bans on cashless stores - 05/22/2019

Months after Philadelphia and New Jersey passed laws requiring retailers to take cash, lawmakers in Congress are seeking to ban cashless stores across the country. U.S. Reps. Donald Payne, D-N.J., and David Cicilline, D-R.I., introduced competing bills last week that would force brick-and-mortar retailers to accept cash. Both bills would exclude online transactions and those done over the phone, though the proposals differ over who would enforce such a law. “The Payment Choice Act was informed by what’s going on in New Jersey, Philadelphia, New York, Chicago and elsewhere,” Payne said in a...
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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