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With the pandemic, businesses and governments around the world are stepping up efforts to discourage cash in favour of digital and contactless payments. There is a compelling case for moving towards an innovative, digital-first, cashless society, especially in Southeast Asia, to empower small businesses and citizens to access the global digital economy. But going completely cashless may lead to some unintended consequences. As the world continues its relentless march towards a cashless economy, e-commerce has capitalised on a coronavirus-led boom. PPRO’s transaction engine has seen online...

Say no to cashless stores - 09/05/2020

I went to a counter-serve restaurant recently, and when the time came to pay for my order, took out my wallet, presented a $20 bill, and was told, “Sorry, we don’t accept cash.” I was flabbergasted. What happened to “legal tender for all debts public and private,” as it says right there on the bill? This has now happened to me at three separate establishments in recent months. The rise of cashless establishments is happening amid continuing hype over the supposed dawn of a “cashless future” and agitation by some very powerful interests that would love to see cash disappear. The credit card...

Coronavirus won't kill cash - 08/13/2020

The 2020 coronavirus pandemic has brought a lot of sudden and sharp changes to the way we used to live our lives. Many of these changes, such as social distancing, will probably turn out to be mostly temporary, once the pandemic passes into history. But many other trends, such as more of us working from home and using the internet to do our shopping will probably be here to stay. One of the most profound trends we have seen is the move away from cash payments towards electronic, ‘cashless’ payment methods. According to reporting from the ABC, cash now makes up less than 25% of the total...

"Please don’t let us go to a cashless society" says british former Member of the European Parliament Patrick James O'Flynn - 10/25/2019

Government and commerce seem to be reacting by withdrawing the cash option from many transactions. Cash is, for instance, no longer accepted on London buses, while some restaurants are moving to cashless systems too. The number of cashpoints is also shrinking fast, with rural communities being particularly hard hit.    We hear a lot about “social exclusion” in many aspects of political debate, but very little to date about how the apparent decision from on high to push card payments over cash risks accentuating the trend.    For while 80 percent of 25 to 34-year-olds...

Dont buy into these cashless payment myths - 10/10/2019

Whether you now rely on cashless payment methods like mobile wallets to buy nearly everything, or can’t fathom the idea of using your card to buy a soda, payment innovations have influenced how we manage money. And just as ride-sharing apps and the gig economy have transformed what we collectively accept as normal when it comes to getting around town or earning a living, changes in cashless payment technology now mean some old financial beliefs no longer apply.   Are you still accepting any of these financial myths as fact?   Myth 1: Cash is going away in the United States....

The Pros and Cons of Moving to a Cashless Society - 09/18/2019

A cashless society might sound like something out of science fiction, but we’re already on our way. Several powerful forces are behind the move to a cash-free world, including governments and large financial services companies. Even critics of the mainstream financial system and government-issued currencies favor doing away with cash. But we’re not there yet. In addition to logistical challenges, we need to address several social issues before giving up on cash entirely. The benefits and disadvantages below can give you an idea of the myriad of effects going cashless can have on money and...

Experts’ debate: what does a cashless society mean? - 09/17/2019

The phenomenon is only just coming into debate but has been underway for many years: as time goes by, economies resort less and less to cash for payments, and increasingly to digital means. If cash is no longer king, what can we expect our societies and economies to look like tomorrow? The lay of the land   A century ago, purchases as large as houses were often still made with cash, leaving “immaterial” payment means to the very top of the economy. Then came checks and credit cards, which gradually eroded the position of cash in our economies. Today, we have more payment methods than...

How will a cashless society affect the poorest ? - 09/05/2019

This economic metamorphosis affects everyone, not just the most extremely poor. In our struggling economy, many middle-income families are trying to keep pace with the ever more challenging cost of living. In the post-Brexit period, the UK economy is expected to take a withering hit. People, as always, will want to control their spending and keep an eye on their finances, and the best way to do this is by using cash. The connection between card payments and higher spending is well-documented. If cash is no longer an option, the risk of cycles of perpetual spending problems among lower-income...

"This shift to all-digital upends the foundation of our economy and creates unintended consequences for consumers." Frank Sorrentino, CEO of ConnectOne Bank - 08/30/2019

While a cashless economy seems like the natural evolution of our collective marketplace, the question is, is a cashless economy beneficial or harmful? Banks and legislators are both having these discussions. States are beginning to take steps to ban cashless stores. When you take a closer look, however, this shift to all-digital upends the foundation of our economy and creates unintended consequences for consumers. First, it can be more costly.  For local small businesses, solely accepting cards means increased expenses. Merchants will be faced with paying card processing fees and those...

"There is a huge machinery to make us believe that ‘cashless-ness’ is in our interest" Shrija Agrawal, Associate Editor Mint - 08/19/2019

Big corporations, ranging from tech giants such as Google and Facebook to fintech behemoths such as Visa and Mastercard, increase the volume of digital payments services they sell and have mobilized massive propaganda to declare a war on cash. Companies big and small—GooglePay and Paytm—are using baits such as cashbacks and there are taglines such as ‘India Ka Naya Cash’. Just as Google wants all internet access to go through its portal, it appears fintech corporations want people to access and navigate broader economic decisions via their privately controlled platforms. “Cashlessness" has...
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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.

The cashless society from an ethical point of view









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