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The philadelphia city council will ban cashless stores. - 10/26/2018

If you want to get a coffee at Bluestone Lane, across the street from City Hall, you’ll have to bring a credit card. Along with a handful of other restaurants in town, most of them based in Center City, this high-end coffee chain does not accept cash. But Councilman William Greenlee thinks that very idea is classist. He introduced a bill that would outlaw the practice in Philadelphia, specifically citing Bluestone Lane and the fast-salad chain Sweetgreen as examples of cashless offenders. “To me, it borders on discrimination,” said Greenlee. “It [hurts] the lower income person who might not...

In Washington Metro wants to make cash disappear: Critics worry the change will disproportionately affect the poor - 10/01/2018

On an X9 bus headed toward Metro Center last week, riders quickly tapped their SmarTrip cards as they got on board. But at one stop, the line paused as a man slid dollar bills into the cash feeder. The brief slowdown illustrated why Metro planners are considering barring cash on as many as 13 express bus routes, forcing the 12 percent of bus riders who use bills and change to switch to SmarTrip cards. Critics worry that the idea, headed for a November vote by Metro’s board, will make it harder for the poor, homeless and disabled to take express buses — relegating them to a sort of...

Not all consumers are happy, while more and more retailers are refusing cash - 09/20/2018

On a recent summer day, as Steffen Kaplan strolled down a New York City street looking for lunch, he grew frustrated: The first three places he looked at were cashless, which meant his dollar bills were no good. Kaplan avoids using credit cards to prevent overspending. “It’s a great formula for staying out of debt,” he says. But it was not a great formula for satisfying his hunger. And the more he thought about it, the more frustrated he grew that eateries were declining to accept cash. “I don’t think it’s cool that you walk into a place and can’t buy anything,” says Kaplan, a social media...

Major retailers delay New Jersey's bill to ban cashless stores - 09/17/2018

New Jersey lawmakers shelved a vote on advancing a bill that would prohibit retailers from refusing to accept cash. The measure was tabled before a Senate Commerce committee hearing after the retail giants and other stakeholders expressed concerns with the bill, said State Sen. Nellie Pou (D., Passaic), who chairs the committee and is sponsoring the legislation. Consumer advocates say cashless businesses effectively discriminate against poor customers who don't have access to credit or bank accounts, and seniors who aren't comfortable paying with plastic or digital devices. Read more

Investing in a cashless society - 09/05/2018

For centuries, London has sustained a street-level economy where performers and vendors make a living from the spare change of strangers — but they are being forced to adapt as cash falls out of fashion. “Things are changing in London and people tend to use cards to pay for things”, Campbell said, before an afternoon gig. “That makes busking a dying art if people aren’t carrying cash any more.” Read more

British Retailer Dixons Carphone Faces a Major Breach That Affects Nearly Six Million Bank Cards - 07/10/2018

United Kingdom-based electronics retailer Dixons Carphone has revealed a major data breach that involves 5.9 million payment card details and 1.2 million personal data records, according to the company’s statement and a BBC report. Dixons Carphone said that a review of its systems and data has discovered “unauthorised access to certain data held by the company”. The firm said that, while an investigation is ongoing, it has found what it is calling “an attempt to compromise” 5.9 million cards in one of the processing systems of its Currys PC World and Dixons Travel stores....

One of Asia’s Largest Cryptocurrency Exchange Hacked - 07/10/2018

South Korea-based cryptocurrency exchange Bithumb briefly suspended its deposit and withdrawal services after hackers stole over $30 million worth of virtual currency, the company said on Wednesday. The exchange, which is based in Seoul, conveyed the message to its followers on Twitter in a series of tweets on June 19, including one confirming that the stolen coins would be covered by Bithum’s own reserves. It also confirmed that all users’ assets would be transferred to a different wallet system. The transferred assets were quickly placed in a cold wallet – a method used for the...

A New Bill in Washington D.C. Would Bar Local Restaurants From Refusing Cash - 07/10/2018

Local leaders want to put a halt to restaurants that don’t accept cash, drawing up a legislative fix that could cost the growing number of credit-only eateries big bucks. A new bill introduced by D.C. City Council member David Grosso on June 26 would “prevent discrimination against customers who prefer to use cash or do not have access to credit cards or other payment methods.” (...) If passed, establishments wouldn’t be able to discriminate against cash; post signs on the licensed premises that cash payment is not accepted; or charge different prices to customers depending on their...

A growing risk of banking disaster in a cashless economy - 06/04/2018

With greater ease of transactions comes heightened risk of financial ruin. Cashless interactions allow money to dash across the country with the touch of a button, which accelerates the speed and depth of bank runs. In huge swoops, millions of creditors can either withdraw large sums of money from banks’ deposits at the same time, or switch to different lenders with remarkable ease. If banks don’t have enough cash on hand, there’s a high chance that customers can’t withdraw money from ATMs. That has created a recipe for banking disaster—and regulators haven’t yet smelled the fumes. Read more

In Sweden, authorities fear "negative spiral" as society goes cashless 'too fast' - 06/04/2018

Riksbank Governor Stefan Ingves has said Sweden should consider forcing banks to provide cash to customers. In its annual report on Monday, the Riksbank said the question is what role it should play in a future with even fewer cash payments. The Riksbank is carefully analyzing this development,” Ingves said. “Overall, I think we are facing structural changes in areas that have previously been stable. This is a development which will affect all the Riksbank’s departments and we will need to make strategic decisions regarding the way forward.” Read more
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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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