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Is cashless economy going too far in China? - 11/14/2019

BEIJING -- On her first trip to China, 30-year-old Courtney Newnham from Portland, Ore., eagerly lined up at a street pushcart to buy a skewer of candied hawthorn berries, a traditional snack. Then she realized nobody was giving the pushcart guy money. "Everyone was just scanning and walking away, and I was like, 'Wait, what?' " she said. She left empty-handed. China was never an easy place for tourists, but lately just about everything seems to have gone square-shaped -- as in the payment-app QR code needed to unlock much of the Middle Kingdom. It's how people hail taxis, consult doctors,...

Cashless India: three years from note-bandi, is demonetisation a failure? - 11/12/2019

New Delhi: The Indian Government's core objective of carrying out -- demonetisation -- three years ago, has remained unfulfilled, with data showing an increase in the level of hard currency in the system. It was on November 8, 2016, that Prime Minister Narendra Modi initiated demonetisation, an action that took the country by surprise. It was envisaged with an aim of eradicating black money and curbing dependence on the cash economy. However, the Reserve Bank of India's data showed that cash with the public as of October 25, 2019, stood at Rs 21,89,781 crore, a 15.2 per cent higher...

In Japan elderly aren't so keen to go cashless - 11/08/2019

Cash is king in Japan, and more so for the country’s fast-ageing population who are still deeply reluctant to give it up.   Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s push to make more Japanese - the world’s most dedicated cash-hoarders – switch to using cashless payments is producing some success, but not nearly as much as desired. A growing rank of the nation’s elderly pensioners are resisting change, which could see Japan fall further behind its peers in adopting mobile app payments and electronic money.   Tokyo wants to double the ratio of cashless settlements to 40% by 2025 and to 80%...

Cashless economy in Rwanda: Is Mobile Money too expensive? - 11/06/2019

In most of Kigali’s business outlets, a client paying for a product or service via Mobile Money is often required to add at least Rwf300 considered as withdrawal charges.   This renders cashless payments more expensive than paying cash over the counter and has led to reluctance by entrepreneurs to embrace the cashless payment system that the Government, through the National Bank of Rwanda (BNR), promotes.   This could also explain why despite the growth of mobile money penetration and transactions over the years, much of the money is cashed out or used for airtime purchases....

In the US, cash is more popular than ever - 10/23/2019

Modern finance requires a lot of trust, and its digital future will demand still more. If, for example, electronic payments are to replace cash, people must be willing to believe that the bits of data traveling among phones, cards, terminals and blockchains actually represent something of value.   So will they be? Judging from their growing predilection for physical currency, maybe not.   At first glance, cash would appear to be on its way out. Sweden has almost eliminated its use for payments. In America, home of the almighty dollar, almost a third of the population gets through...

Cashless society: lessons from Sweden - 10/16/2019

The collapse of cash in Britain has been dramatic. There were 11.5 billion fewer cash transactions in 2018 than in 2008 – a decline of 51pc. It’s a pace of change that has surprised everyone, even industry insiders.   “The rise of the debit card and the decline of cash is the phenomenon of the last decade,” says Adrian Buckle, head of research for UK Finance, the banking sector trade body.   But Britain, while on the podium, is not the world champion in cashless. That title goes to Sweden, where demand for notes and coins is so limp that cash is literally disappearing: the...

India: here is what happens when a society goes temporarily cashless - 10/11/2019

The potential disappearance of cash is a big worry for a lot of people in the UK at the moment. With every report of cash machines being removed, physical money use declining, or bank branches shutting, fears grow that society is heading for a cashless future. So, imagine what would happen if the Government suddenly announced plans to axe almost 90 per cent of banknotes in circulation? That is what India did and a new report from Harvard University has analysed the effects. Predictably, it caused chaos, as while Indians were quick to return the old banknotes, replacement ones came more...

Going digital-only is not a win-win solution - 10/08/2019

DIGITAL transformation has hit countries around the globe. The Lion City is one of the world's top hotbeds for technology and innovation today. In fact, Singapore accounted for a quarter of the nearly US$6 billion in capital invested in South-east Asia's technology firms during the first half of this year. Specifically, fintech investments were found to have nearly quadrupled from a year ago to US$453 million in the first half of 2019, making Singapore the third-largest fintech market by funds in the Asia-Pacific.   With a huge potential such as this, fintechs need to realise the...

Malaysia: Customers are paying the price for cashless transactions - 09/27/2019

Several banks have come under fire for charging fees when customers make loan and credit card payments with cash or cheques over the counter or through deposit machines. At least two other banks have announced they would do the same from next month. The Association of Banks in Malaysia (ABM) says the fees are imposed to “encourage customers to move from cash to electronic payments” but consumer groups argue that this practice is unfair to those who do not do their banking via digital channels. The fee for making credit card and loan payments over the counter with cash or cheques is RM2...

Asia’s cashless society will only benefit governments - 09/26/2019

We’ve heard of all the benefits of being in a cashless society, but what’s at risk? We've heard of all the benefits of being in a cashless society, but what's at risk? The appeal of mobile e-wallets is evident in Asia and the past decade, Asia has had bold ambitions to make the cashless society a reality.  After all, e-money is more convenient than carrying cash, can adapt to change quickly and they’re often tied to loyalty benefits. They also save countries a lot of money as the costs of printing, storing and moving cash are not insignificant. Pioneering this front was Hong Kong...
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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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