China's Central Bank wants retailers to accept payments in cash

The People's Bank of China (PBOC) is looking to close the widening digital divide and has warned merchants that they must accept cash or face disciplinary action, Reuters reported on Tuesday (Dec. 15).

Most businesses in China have gone digital and some have stopped taking cash altogether, in part due to the coronavirus, but also as a means of cost control and user demand.

“Renminbi (yuan) cash is the most basic means of payment. Entities or individuals cannot refuse to accept it,” the PBOC, which is China's central bank, said in a statement, per Reuters.

The PBOC also said that any business or individual refusing cash or instituting discriminatory anti-cash policies would be subject to investigation.

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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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