COVID-19, lobbying... Cash will remain despite all

COVID-19, lobbying... Cash will remain despite all
As the coronavirus lockdown restrictions are gradually eased across the UK, questions are being asked about how people’s behaviours might change in the longer term, and how wider society might develop as a result.


Take something as fundamental as cold hard cash. During the lockdown, we’ve been urged to use contactless payment methods for hygiene reasons, and the limit for single contactless payments was increased from £30 to £45 on 1 April precisely to facilitate more transactions of this kind.

Many people have cash in their purses and wallets they withdrew from ATMs back in early March, and they’ve managed perfectly well without it. So are we heading towards a cashless society?

The use of cash has been declining for a number of years, but it has accelerated rapidly because of coronavirus. Link, which runs the UK’s main ATM network, says the use of ATMs has dropped by over 50% as people stay at home and have fewer opportunities to go out and spend.

But it says there were still around 20 million ATM transactions (totalling £1 billion) each week at the height of the lockdown.

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Go Further

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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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