What is the true cost of going cashless ? - 09/24/2019

This week saw another milestone reached in the journey towards a cashless UK with news that consumers now spend more money on credit cards alone than they do in hard cash.  While that may say quite a lot about our debt crisis, it’s also another nail in the cash coffin.  Physical money now forms just £1 in every £5 spent with UK retailers, according to data from the British Retail Consortium.   But does it really matter? And who to? By 2027, cash will account for barely one in every 10 transactions.    But the chances of us being completely cashless anytime soon...

In the move towards cashless, UK consumers are worried about going cardless - 09/18/2019

According to a study conducted earlier this year by UK Finance, just one in ten adults in the UK now opts to only use cash, with the rapid with the rapid growth of contactless payment and decline in the number of ATMs leading many to predict that the UK may become a cashless society in the next few years. However, although some may be concerned about the prospect of going cashless, with a study conducted by consumer watchdog Which? revealing that 25 million people in the UK may be negatively affected by the move towards a cashless society, many are also worried about the possibility of a...

In high-tech Japan, cash remains king - 08/22/2019

Once a pioneer in technologies for cashless transactions, Japan is now lagging the world’s biggest economies in the embrace of electronic payments because most of the population still prefers physical money. Four out of five purchases are still made with cash in Japan, despite its reputation as a futuristic and innovative nation. In South Korea, some 90 percent of transactions are now digital, while Sweden aims to be a cashless society as early as 2023. Read more

The dangers of a cashless society : the case of Sweden - 07/29/2019

In Sweden, the move towards a cashless society has been so rapid there are concerns it has resulted in financial exclusion, with buses no longer accepting cash and some other providers of basic and essential services, such as chemists, now frequently declining to accept coins. More than half of the country's banks have stopped allowing customers to withdraw cash or pay in notes and coins over the counter, while shops and other merchants are permitted by law to refuse cash payments. It has led to unhappiness among hundreds of thousands of pensioners. A backlash got fully under way when both...

Canada : Move towards cashless economy could shutout lower income shoppers - 07/22/2019

As the percentage of people paying for food with cash declines, businesses like Walmart are considering going cash-free. There are many benefits for grocery stores to go cashless including shorter checkout times, heightened convenience and a reduction in theft and human error. “No one wants to really wait to pay for their food items and that’s why the cashless food economy is becoming an attractive proposition for both the consumer and the industry as well,” explained Sylvain Charlebois, professor of food distribution and policy at Dalhousie University. He says cashless stores have...

Hong Kong protests show the dangers of a Cashless Society - 07/15/2019

It can be easy to take cash for granted, especially in a wealthy, developed economy. Those fortunate enough to live in a stable society usually suffer no lack of payment options. They are getting more advanced all the time, with financial technology (fintech) companies constantly developing new ways to quickly and cheaply make purchases and send money. It sometimes seems the days of old-fashioned cash, with its dormant physicality, are numbered. Allowing cash to die would be a grave mistake. A cashless society is a surveillance society. The recent round of protests in Hong Kong highlights...

Sweden's 'cashless society' affects international residents - 06/24/2019

Fewer and fewer Swedes use cash in their daily lives, but for international residents struggling to set up a bank account or platforms such as Swish, the cashless society can be a headache. The Local asked our readers what they think. In 2010 nearly 40 percent of Swedes said they paid for their most recent purchase in cash. By 2018 that proportion had drastically decreased to 13 percent, according to the Swedish Central Bank. When The Local asked our readers what payment method they prefer, an overwhelming majority said card. But many also highlighted the unique problems international...

Sweden proves that the success of cashless payments carries risks - 06/03/2019

There are a variety of concerns with Sweden’s rapid evolution away from hard currency, some admittedly more serious than others. Among the less passionate complaints among consumers is the fact that cash has been a little hard to come by on the off chance it is actually needed. “On the rare occasions, perhaps once or twice a month, when I want 200 kronor, it can be hard to get hold of. The ATM nearest my house recently shut down: Bankomat, the cash machine company co-owned by the banks, has reduced the number of outlets by a fifth in four years,” once consumer noted. And if you are thinking...

Backlash against cashless stores continue to grow in the U.S. - 05/21/2019

Supervisor Vallie Brown, the driving force behind the cashless store ban, said she was responding to complaints from some of her African-American constituents who said they were being marginalized. "For them not to be able to go and give cash, I thought was really discrimination and an equity issue," Brown said.  The problem isn't limited to San Francisco. According to the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. (FDIC), 8.5 million Americans are "unbanked" — the term used for people who don't have bank accounts — many of them minorities and seniors. Read more

What will happen to the poorest in a cashless society? - 01/28/2019

Watchdogs and charities are raising awareness as to a new risk to which the poor, homeless and destitute may be exposed, in the years to come. With central banks and governments trying to quietly drive cash out of economies, so as to increase fiscal control, the poor and some elderly are looking at losing their main and only financial instrument. 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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