Cashless society: two sides of the debate

Cashless society: two sides of the debate
Recently, a number of states in the US brought in legislation to prevent the rise of so-called ‘cash-free stores’ which only accept digital payments. Some see that denying payments in cash is a form of discrimination against people with lower incomes. This is but one more episode in an ongoing debate over the possible future of our economy. Under consideration is the discontinuation of cash as a means of exchange. Should we double down on our race towards digital dependency ?

There are various axes upon which pro-digital economists assert that cash should go, despite significant drawbacks and risks associated with its removal as a payment option. Let’s take a look at some of the ideas that the debate is circling to assess their merits. Economics
The main argument on the pro-digital side of the debate is that there will be a more frictionless, efficient economy. Cash has relatively high maintenance costs. Producing, transporting, and protecting cash can be expensive for financial institutions, and there is a constant need for technological innovation in the prevention of counterfeits.
Consumers would likely also spend more readily, as digital payments can be more convenient and less noticeable.
Economists also suggest that it would allow greater control over monetary policy – making negative interest rates more achievable. Such policies are believed to encourage spending and stimulate the economy, making it easier to ensure economic stability and prevent damaging recessions.

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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.

The cashless society from an ethical point of view

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