How Cashless is harming the elderly

When the UK Government increased the limit on contactless payments from £30 to £45 in April last year, a country gripped by Covid-19 and under nationwide lockdown for the first time welcomed the move.

An increase had been under discussion for some time, but the pandemic expedited the move, with the authorities keen to reduce the need for physical contact in shops and to cut queues to help keep people safe. Later this year the contactless limit will be increased once more to £100.

For most, the April change made sense. People were spending much more on their visits to shops and supermarkets to try to decrease the number of times they left their homes. However, for Michael, who is 84, the move was deeply worrying, with many shops refusing cash altogether.

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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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