China in no position to afford a cashless society - 09/11/2018

In Chinese cities, paying via the ubiquitous WeChat platform is now so common that vendors often have trouble making change for cash, or sometimes refuse to take it altogether. Wang Yazhou, a senior banking official in Hefei, the province’s capital, commented a thorough cleanup was needed because refusing cash payments would be likely to have a very negative impact. Regulators like Wang are right to be concerned. The growing “cashlessness” of Chinese cities threatens to expose underlying issues of economic instability. Read more

Why we should not celebrate the idea of a cashless society - 08/24/2018

We are gradually moving towards a cashless society, fuelled by swipe cards, and in the UK only 3 per cent of all spending is now in cash. As a result, we have huge credit card debts because of the disconnect between easy spending and real money.   Read more

The poorest will suffer the most if the idea of a cashless society goes wrong - 08/22/2018

On November 8, 2016, the Indian Prime Minister announced that the country’s two highest denomination banknotes would no longer be legal tender. The 500 and 1000 rupee notes accounted for 86 per cent of currency supply in a country where roughly 90 per cent of transactions are done in cash. In the aftermath of Modi’s overnight demonetisation, sociologists documented how it was poor people who were disproportionately affected. Replacement notes turned out to be in short supply and poor people found it hardest to get to banks and trade in old for new. Read more

The reasons why consumers must resist the push for cashless societies - 08/10/2018

All over the world, traditional methods of monetary transaction are in decline and are being replaced by digital methods. In Sweden cash now represents only one percent of the national economy. Many consumers and businesses have welcomed this revolution adopting online banking, contactless payments and so on. For their part, the mainstream media almost unanimously welcomed this movement as a good thing. But some voices are raised to relativize the virtues of the disappearance of cash. Read more

Cyber-theft is a real threat - 08/04/2018

As the government pushes to transform Thailand into a "cashless society", a series of security breaches of banks' computer systems over the past few years have made many reluctant to fully embrace online and mobile banking services. Last week's hacking of two major banks should be seen as a warning sign to bankers, regulators and lawmakers that they are lagging in the fight to counter cyber attacks and protect consumers. With cyber-attackers' growing capabilities, banks and financial institutions will remain vulnerable to hacking. It is hard to rule out the possibility that financial...

What Really Lies Behind Sweden's Cashless Crusade - 07/10/2018

Sweden is certainly the country most often mentioned as having made the most "progress" toward becoming a cashless society. The idea of a Swedish Cashless Society has some well-known supporters, amongst them Bjorn Ulvaeus, one "B" in the name of the famous pop group ABBA (...) The ABBA Museum is sponsored by MasterCard, so perhaps an anti-cash stance can be regarded as understandable. In any event, Ulvaeus mentions home break-ins when elaborating his negative views on cash. There is a public perception that one reason he started his anti-cash campaign is that his own son's apartment in...

In Germany, the cashless economy raises concerns about trust and privacy - 06/04/2018

For many Germans, the convenience of electronic payment is beside the point. Rather, the use of cash has, to a surprising extent, become a proxy for profound concerns about trust, privacy, and the role of the state. Whereas in most countries the choice of how to organize purchases is basically a question of utility, in Germany it’s freighted with much deeper connotations. “Cash, to me, is an important public good by which you measure the transparency and legal order of a society, and also the respect for the individual and the private sphere,” says Max Otte, an economist in Cologne who leads...

Cashless society: from Sweden to India, some might get left behind - 06/04/2018

“I think if cash disappears all over, it will be a very big problem… I’m afraid it is going too fast… so it’s a big concern if you have that feeling that society is not for you.” Maijlis Jonsson is a 73-year-old living in the centre of Sweden’s capital Stockholm. She leads an active life with her friends, travelling around the city and meeting in coffee shops. However, one issue keeps cropping up that causes her stress. (...) Niklas Arvidsson, professor at the KTH Royal Institute of Technology and Sweden’s leading expert on the payment system, acknowledges that certain demographics are in...

Sweden: citizen rebelling against a cashless economy - 06/04/2018

Sweden is winning the race towards becoming the world's first completely cashless society, but there are growing concerns it's causing problems for the elderly and other vulnerable groups. (...)  Some worry about the challenges it poses for vulnerable groups, especially the elderly. "As long as there is the right to use cash in Sweden, we think people should have the option to use it and be able to put money in the bank," says Ola Nilsson, a spokesperson for the Swedish National Pensioners' Organisation, which is lobbying the government on behalf of its 350,000 members. Read more

Sweden's move towards a cashless economy has gone too far - 06/04/2018

"While using a credit card or a mobile payment isn’t too difficult for younger residents, there are people such as the elderly or in lower-incomes who aren’t as digitally savvy or connected. When businesses don’t take cash, that means that those residents are unable to shop, eat or bank there. A broad review of the central bank legislation is now underway in Sweden to look at the situation. A report is expected from the group as soon as this summer." Read more
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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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Top Ten Things To Know

The debate

What the demise of the cashless society will really mean

Is going full cashless society a threat?

Cashless backlash delays move to walletless economy

What are the pitfalls of a cash-free society ?

In a cashless society, Big Brother will always know when you buy milk

Education: how will we teach the value of money without cash?

Cashless society Vs terrorism: Are States fighting last year’s war again?

Inclusion: a cashless economy fights the poorest, not poverty

A cashless economy to root out theft and petty crime?

A cashless economy as a bulwark against fraud and tax evasion?