Not ready for cashless: lots of people in danger

Campaigners believe large sections of the population will be excluded from society as a result of the move away from cash payments

Covid-19 has forced the UK to dump cash before it is ready, with the headlong shift to cashless payments as a result of the pandemic threatening to exclude the country’s most vulnerable from society.

A survey of more than 2,000 people carried out by YouGov for ATM network Link has found that three in four people believe Covid-19 will continue to affect their use of cash next year, with nearly half (48 per cent) stating that they will use cards significantly more in 2021.

A further 72 per cent said they have been using cash much less since the beginning of the outbreak.

John Howells, CEO of Link, said: “Covid-19 is transforming our relationship with cash. Year-on-year we’ve seen a decline in the number of cash withdrawals from ATMs of almost 40 per cent. In normal times, we may have expected this over five years, but it’s happened in nine months.”

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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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