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The War Against Cash





Time is, I fear, running out. Running out, that is, to avoid handing to a small number of multinational corporations our right to buy and sell things. Running out to prevent governments and central banks helping themselves to our savings, by means of negative interest rates. The payments industry is closing in on its target of driving cash out of circulation and instigating cashless payments as the only way of doing business.

That, at least, is the conclusion one might reach from reading a report by Worldpay: the Global Payments Report 2021. It claims that cash payments in UK shops in 2020 made up 13.4 per cent of total payments, down from 27.4 per cent in 2019. By 2024, it predicts, they will be down to just 6.9 per cent. By the same year it will be down to just 0.4 per cent in Sweden.

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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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