Cashless or all cash: There is a good middle ground

Cash-free payment methods have become life-changing for many in the era of the Fourth Industrial Revolution. However, people around the world disagree on what the superior method of payment is, and it seems to be a subjective thing. In East Asia, there are also distinct national trends.

South Korea has typically been seen as the cashless champion of Asia. According to research, only 14% of payments in South Korea involve cash. Some might say that it is already a cashless society, and the main reason it has happened is that South Koreans want it.

The country has an almost 100% smartphone adoption rate, and there is a growing demand from the younger generation, looking for fast and convenient payment methods. And during the pandemic, South Koreans have become more familiar than ever with digital payments due to the boom in the e-commerce industry, with mobile shopping accounting for over 70% of online sales, The Korea Herald reports.

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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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