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Digital economy can't be without cash





With the pandemic, businesses and governments around the world are stepping up efforts to discourage cash in favour of digital and contactless payments. There is a compelling case for moving towards an innovative, digital-first, cashless society, especially in Southeast Asia, to empower small businesses and citizens to access the global digital economy. But going completely cashless may lead to some unintended consequences.

As the world continues its relentless march towards a cashless economy, e-commerce has capitalised on a coronavirus-led boom. PPRO’s transaction engine has seen online purchases across the globe increase dramatically this year: some – such as purchases of women’s clothing – we did not foresee, but others such as food and drink, up by 285 per cent, and health care and cosmetics, up by 160 per cent, were predictable. Overall, these e-commerce levels were not predicted for another five odd years.

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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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