Cashless economy is threatening the working poor

Cashless economy is threatening the working poor
Are we in for a cashless society? Would digital payments, and paying with “plastic” really work for everybody? Will the heightened sensitivity for cleanliness in this pandemic speed up digital payments for everything? When the virus finally does abate, is this one of the dramatic changes awaiting us?

Let’s consider whether some of the experts are right, that digital commerce is about to take over, and that a cashless economy will be a new way of living and acting that lies ahead. There’s always uncertainty in forecasts, so as we consider them, let’s be mindful of the wisdom of the baseball great, Yogi Berra: “It’s tough to make predictions, especially about the future.”

Great strides towards a cashless economy have been made in other countries. The British publication, UK Finance, reports that 90% of all transactions in the U.K. will be digital in less than 10 years, and that the pandemic there is making this happen faster than expected. Not only do the Brits find it ever so convenient, but they also embrace the cleanliness of one’s smart phone compared to handling cash and coin.

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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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