Failure of cashless initiatives shows people care about cash

Failure of cashless initiatives shows people care about cash
As the world adopts the digitisation of everyday life, there is a global trend aiming at financial inclusion. The improvements in technology have resulted in opportunities for payment solutions and governments to offer more affordable transacting for the previously unbanked. However, that is not to say that a cashless society is a utopian one.

Cashless transacting enables organisations to engage with customers in more meaningful and personalised ways due to the data they generate about habits, preferences and other trends. As consumer adoption of digital technologies continues to accelerate, businesses have access to growing pools of customer data that can inform product development and customer interaction.

Going cashless is a Herculean task that’s not as simple as implementing a new, secure system. However, if retailers are to deliver the personalised services required in the Experience Economy, pulling more people into electronic forms of payment and transacting is critical for growth.

Visit almost any startup pitching event and you’ll be greeted by a handful of fintech companies with a new way to bank the unbanked — people who don’t utilise any formal or informal forms of banking. It’s become relatively easy to introduce a new way of paying for groceries or mobile airtime or other essential services, or — importantly in the African context — remittance. However, as the failure of other nations’ cashless initiatives has proven, it’s another thing altogether to get customers to give up their reliance on cash.

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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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The debate

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A cashless society will come at an ecological cost

The US is not ready (yet) to be cashless

Going cashless should be an option

When cashless economy means a bigger generational and income divide

The Dangers of a Cashless Economy

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Cashless society: two sides of the debate

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