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"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...

Say No to the “Cashless Future” - 08/15/2019

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...

"A cashless food economy is not all good" by Sylvain Charlebois, senior director of the Agri-Food Analytics Lab at Dalhousie University in Halifax. - 08/02/2019

The economic case for using less cash when purchasing food is overwhelmingly strong. It makes the system more efficient, provides more convenience for shoppers, and makes management less prone to theft and human error. But it’s not all good. This doesn’t sit well with everyone, though. San Francisco lawmakers are now considering a proposal to ban cashless stores. New Jersey and Philadelphia are considering similar bans. Ban supporters argue that cashless stores discriminate against low-income shoppers who may not have a bank account or the means to have credit or debit cards. Close to a...

Cashless isn’t just classist, it’s bad for business - 07/10/2019

There’s a growing debate across the U.S., and internationally, about whether businesses should be required to accept cash in face-to-face transactions. San Francisco and Philadelphia have banned cashless-only retailing, arguing that such businesses discriminate against low-income people who might not have bank accounts. The entire state of New Jersey has done likewise. And two bills that would ban cashless stores have been introduced in Congress. Read more

Kenneth Rogoff’s war on cash: is he right to call cash a "curse"? - 07/03/2019

Economist Kenneth Rogoff published in 2016 a book, named “The curse of cash”, pointing at the numerous societal woes he attributes to hard currency, and praising its disappearance in favor of digital money. Despite an obvious desire to adopt a balanced and reasonable stance, several of the points made within the pamphlet reveal links to the partisan war on cash and misrepresent the role of cash in our societies. Read more

Stefan Gleason, President of Money Metals Exchange : "Big Banks and Big Tech are the ones pushing for a Cashless Society" - 07/02/2019

The War on Cash isn’t a conspiracy theory. It’s an open agenda. It’s being driven by an alignment of interests among bankers, central bankers, politicians, and Silicon Valley moguls who stand to benefit from an all-digital economy. Last week, Facebook – in partnership with major banks, payment processors, and e-commerce companies – launched a digital currency called Libra. Unlike decentralized, free-floating cryptocurrencies, Libra will be tied to national fiat currencies, integrated into the financial system, and centrally managed. Read more

Natalie Ceeney, author of the 'Access To Cash Review' says : "everyone should have guaranteed access to cash in the future" - 06/19/2019

Last week, while newly streamlined and coiffured Boris Johnson was launching his campaign to become leader of the Conservative Party, 200 individuals congregated within a lion's roar of Regent's Park in London to chew the cash cud – and discuss whether it has a future. Yet the star of the 'cash summit' by a country mile was Natalie Ceeney, author of the recent 'Access To Cash Review' report which highlighted the dangers of the country's relentless march towards a cashless society. Wearing killer heels and spectacles that Miranda Priestly would have been proud to sport in The Devil Wears...

Douglas Ross, Member of Scottish Parliament: "The loss of access to cash inevitably affects the more vulnerable in society." - 06/11/2019

There are few communities across Scotland that have been unaffected by the closure of a High Street bank or building society in recent years. In fact, research by consumer group Which? suggested as many as one third of branches shut their doors between 2010 and 2018. That amounts to 610 in total – in addition to 200 ATM machines that have also disappeared. For some in our larger urban areas, this may be brushed aside as a sign of the times. More and more people are banking online and rarely carry cash around with them. However, in more rural areas like my constituency of Moray, it is a...

International Legal Firm raises concerns about privacy and security in a cashless society - 06/06/2019

New findings from Osborne Clarke reveal concerns over data privacy and security are rising, despite a reduction in the use of cash across UK ·81% of UK consumers worry about fraud in a cashless society an eight percentage point increase on the year before · Over three quarters of UK consumers (79%) worry they would share too much data if cash were to be completely replaced by mobile payments · UK identified as the European country most open to using biometric technology to verify individuals identity London, UK – 11th April 2018. Despite well-reported reductions in the use of cash...
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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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