Ireland is not ready to move to a whole cashless society

The increased use of contactless and digital payments during the pandemic will not lead to the exclusion of cash payments in Ireland, the minister for finance has said.

The rise in digital financial services has seen some retailers refuse to accept cash but has led to concerns that vulnerable groups who rely on cash payments could be excluded.

The issue was raised in the Dáil recently where Labour Party spokesperson for finance Ged Nash asked the minister, Paschal Donohoe, if legislation was planned to ban digital-only payments.

The minister confirmed that, currently, a retailer can refuse to accept cash as payment if they display a sign at the till informing their customers.

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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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