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Cash under useful protection in the UK





As society accelerates into its digital future, the UK is taking steps to protect the centuries-old technology known as paper money.

Digital payments are rapidly becoming ever more commonplace, so much so that even the world’s central banks are debating whether to issue an electronic form of money to the public. But increasingly cashless Britain, where many bank branches and ATMs have vanished, has become a reminder of the risks of leaving physical money behind too quickly. Some 10% of Brits still use cash for all or most of their daily purchases, and the poor and elderly can be especially reliant on it.

The spread of cash deserts sparked an uproar in communities from Wales to Scotland, and officials have searched for ways to shore up physical infrastructure that is becoming outmoded but is still vital for many people and businesses. To counteract a steep decline in the number of bank branches and ATMs, Community Access to Cash Pilots—an independent initiative backed by banks, consumer groups, and small business representatives—started a program of “banking hubs” in April in a town in Scotland and another in eastern England.

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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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