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China has taken two steps closer to a fully cashless economy after two small private Chinese banks announced last month that they would end services related to bank notes and coins, according to a South China Morning Post report Friday (Feb. 4). Beijing-based Zhongguancun Bank will end cash services, including over-the-counter deposits and withdrawals and cash services on ATM machines, in April, while NewUp Bank of Liaoning will end its cash services in March, the report says. Chinese residents have long relied on Tencent Holdings’ WeChat Pay and Alibaba Group Holding’s Alipay over cash...

Banks' strategy leads to cahsless societies - 11/01/2021

Lloyds Banking Group has announced the closure of 48 more bank branches, citing reduced usage as the driving factor. The cuts, which will leave the bank with 1,475 branches, could lead to 178 job cuts. Banks in the UK and across Europe are closing branches and encouraging customers to use digital channels, including mobile banking. The Covid-19 pandemic, which saw lockdowns force businesses to close customer-facing operations, has speeded up the migration to digital channels. “Like many other businesses, we’ve seen people using our branches less frequently in recent years, and this...

Drivers like to pay Cash - 09/26/2021

Cash is still the number one option for paying parking fees among drivers, but young drivers prefer to use cards and technology, new research reveals. According to an AA survey, about 46% of drivers say that paying parking fees in cash is the first option, rising to 56% for drivers over the age of 65 and 62% for low-income households. On the other hand, tip and pin payments are second, and contactless payments using cards or smartphones are third. Pay by app and phone to complete the top five. However, the report found that drivers aged 18 to 24 were ready to avoid banknotes and coins...

Why Cash is Stronger than COVID-19 - 08/05/2021

The COVID-19 pandemic has forced Canadians to embrace online shopping and contactless payments, accelerating a shift that’s seen consumers reach more for credit cards than loose change in recent years. Despite that, cash is thriving. At the end of 2020, about $100-billion worth of banknotes were in circulation, a year-over-year increase of $13.8-billion, according to a new paper by Bank of Canada staff. With typical growth rates, banknotes would have swelled by $4.9-billion last year – meaning the pandemic led to an extra $8.9-billion surge in demand. Read more  

London Underground soon all cashless? - 03/24/2021

Cash payments may not be accepted at Tube stations in the future as Mayor of London Sadiq Khan refuses to rule out withdrawing the option. TfL suspended cash payments at many Tube stations at the height of the pandemic in a bid to stop the virus spreading, but plans to make the move permanent were criticised by campaigners and eventually dropped over fears that up to 260,000 adult Londoners without bank accounts would be negatively impacted. Read more  

The State of Idaho wants to protect cash - 03/11/2021

Should Idaho businesses be required to accept cash as payment? That’s the interesting question that could be coming before the Idaho Legislature. Rep. Heather Scott, R-Blanchard, introduced a bill last week stating “a person who engages in business as a seller in this state shall accept cash as a method of payment along with any other methods of payment the seller may accept.” The House State Affairs Committee agreed to print the bill, House Bill 256, after a lively discussion of its merits. On its face, it seems like a silly thing. After all, we’re headed for a cashless society,...

China is using Digital Lotteries to Promote State-Backed Cryptocurrency - 01/15/2021

China is using lotteries to test its new digital currency, DCEP (Digital Currency Electronic Payment). According to a notice from the government of Shenzhen, the city is preparing this week to conduct its second lottery to pay out prizes exclusively in the new currency, following a successful debut draw last October. The People’s Bank of China (PBoC) announced the creation of DCEP in November last year. DCEP is the world’s first state-backed cryptocurrency. It has prompted concern in the West that Beijing is exploring the creation of a completely cashless society, upon which it can exert...

Total control: the Chinese way to punish criminal - 11/18/2020

Rather than jail time or hefty fines, China’s justice system is employing a new type of punishment for criminals this year: massive inconvenience. The state-run Xinhua News agency reported Wednesday that 2,421 people found guilty of bank card and mobile SIM card-related crimes in the southern Guangdong province over the past month have been barred from making mobile and bank card payments for five years. They will now only be able to use cash. The punishment is tantamount to social exclusion in a country where mobile payments are employed in every area of life, from public transport to...

Coronavirus: cash is more used than ever in Czech Republic - 10/24/2020

The central bank says that the coronavirus crisis has caused Czechs to withdraw more cash from ATMs than usual, Hospodářské noviny reported Monday. However, this is not only to increase the ready money in their pockets – it is also because small firms have been making more cash payments at a time of uncertainty, the business daily said. Vojtěch Benda from the Czech National Bank’s board said that demand for cash shot up after Covid-19 first hit the Czech Republic in March. Mr. Benda told Hospodářské noviny that at the same time as political leaders were advocating cashless payments,...

EU Magistrate fights against Cashless economy - 10/02/2020

LUXEMBOURG (CN) — Businesses in the European Union should accept cash, but countries are allowed to place their own restrictions on currency usage, an adviser to the EU’s high court said Tuesday. The nonbinding advisory opinion from Advocate General Giovanni Pitruzzella says companies in the 27-member political and economic union should accept euro notes because people who don’t use banks may struggle to pay with other methods, but he wrote countries can impose currency regulations so long as they are in the public interest and do not abolish the euro. The case was referred to the...
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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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