Hong Kong, Myanmar, etc. Can Cashless Economies Become Limited Democracies?

Hong Kong, Myanmar, etc. Can Cashless Economies Become Limited Democracies?
As on every other continent, Africa is experiencing the rise of the cashless economy. The race to consolidate positions in Africa’s budding fintech space sees the top four telecoms companies battling it out for market share.

African cashlessness is predominantly driven by mobile payments services — provided by the likes of Orange, Vodafone, Airtel Africa and SA’s MTN. In SA, cashlessness is nascent but being brought about through a “cash-lite” rationale, probably because of the 11-million or so unbanked or underbanked citizens in the country. More broadly, the shift in African spending habits reflects changes occurring elsewhere in the world, from Sweden to China.

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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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The debate

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