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How cashless Harms the most Vulnerable: A New Zealander example





Covid-19 fears accelerated banks’ moves towards cashless transactions. But the Reserve Bank has come out swinging on the side of cash – and the often vulnerable people who still use it.

The annual Monster Book Fair in the Kapiti Coast town of Paekākāriki is a big deal. It’s run by local volunteers and goes on for three days. There are thousands of books for sale, and big money gets raised by volunteers, many of them retirees, for the St Peter’s Hall restoration fund.

But last year, when the fair was over and the treasurer went to a BNZ branch with several thousand dollars worth of coins and notes, she was horrified to be told she couldn’t bank the money inside.

Instead, the teller said she had to walk out of the bank and post it in separate lots in the ATM deposit slot.

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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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