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More than 40 million people at risk in the US because of cashless economy





New Global Payment Trends research reveals that a decline in cash use during the pandemic could leave 43.6 million adults vulnerable to digital exclusion in the US.

Although it’s still the second-most used form of payment in the US, cash use has seen a significant decline over the last five years, with 29% of adults now saying they make no purchases using cash during a typical week, compared to 24% in 2015.

This decline could be exacerbated by the Covid-19 pandemic, which has seen the country under lockdown restrictions since March. This has led to many Americans panic-withdrawing substantial sums of money and choosing to buy groceries online rather than in store.

There are significant implications for vulnerable members of society who struggle to use digital payment services, such as credit cards, mobile wallets and bank transfers.

Latest data shows that one third of US seniors do not have internet access, 14.1 million people are underbanked or unbanked, and 11.4 million suffer from serious mental health issues each year. In addition, there are around 550,000 homeless people in the US

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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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