The dangers behind a cashless economy

As the country continues its inexorable march towards becoming a cashless society, it’s important to remember the downsides.

Australia has been just a few years away from being a cashless society for a couple of decades now, but it will eventually get there. Legislation currently before the Senate aims to ban transactions over $10,000 in a bid to hinder the black economy.

From there, it’s not difficult to imagine that the ubiquity of digital payment systems – and efforts the by government – will see hard cash disappear at some point in the future.

One of the supposed benefits of a cashless society is that it cuts down on crime, the logic being that if there’s less cash to steal, less cash is stolen. Laundering dirty money is also harder, as every transaction is logged in some form or another.

But a cashless society comes with a number of negatives that might well outweigh the positives.


“As payments move online, there would be an increased risk of crimes such as identity theft, account takeover, fraudulent transactions and data breaches, due to the higher volume of cashless transactions and more points of exposure for the average consumer,” Dr Richard Harmon, managing director of financial services at data cloud firm Cloudera, told My Business sister brand Investor Daily.
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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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