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Cashless Norway has pushed too far





Norway’s government wants to make sure banks don’t stop providing cash, as the country becomes the world leader in abandoning physical notes and coins.

The Finance Ministry has told the Financial Supervisory Authority in Oslo to put together a plan that will ensure banks continue offering cash services, according to a statement on Friday. That’s after the FSA’s own survey found that a number of Norwegian banks “claim that they are not responsible for offering cash services.”

Banknotes and coins are used in only 3-4% of all transactions in Norway, the lowest level of cash usage in world, according to calculations by Norges Bank. Neighboring Sweden, another nearly cashless society, has also sounded the alarm amid concerns that the complete disappearance of paper money would pose a number of risks. The near obsolescence of cash has prompted central banks in both countries to explore their own digital currencies.

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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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