Cash or Cashless: A short 2021 Assessment

Is cash still king in 2021?

The past couple of years have seen a trend away from cash towards digital and contactless payments. The ongoing pandemic has only increased this switch, with many business opting out from accepting germ-ridden folds of paper bills and instead allowing only card payments.

Besides the pandemic, crazes over different bitcoin, Apple’s introduction of the “apple wallet”, and the subsequent release of phone wallets for every smartphone, are all symptomatic of a societal shift away from cash.

Having to carry around clumps of bills, counting coins when trying to check out, and having to deposit cash when you finally get around to it are all pains that can easily be avoided with digital payments. So why is cash still around?

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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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