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The debate
Amid the benefits of digital payments – their ease of use, potential to cut costs for businesses and reduce tax evasion, corruption and organized crime – there’s growing concern about those who don’t have credit cards or bank accounts, have difficulty using smartphones and computers for banking and payments, or a lack of broadband and mobile connectivity. Retirees, recent immigrants, people with disabilities and those living in rural areas are especially vulnerable. So, while it looks for solutions, Sweden’s central bank has told all banks to keep offering cash services. Read more

In a cashless society, Big Brother will always know when you buy milk - 04/26/2019

While the move toward a cashless economy indeed poses problems for low-income and marginalized people, we all have reason for caution: Do we really want every method of payment to be controlled by private companies? What will happen to the fees that private payment platforms such as Visa and Mastercard charge when they operate in a market with no public option — in other words, cash? Read more

Education: how will we teach the value of money without cash? - 01/22/2019

With the increased fear of the dawning cashless world surrounding us, the matter of pedagogical upbringing and financial responsibility is at risk. The capacity of people, in developed economies, to manage the money they have is falling, with worrying levels of over-indebtedness and homelessness. A trend which will get worse if and when money loses its material support: the banknote. The object is useful to learn and give reality to concepts. This is the reason why, in a child’s education, words such as chair, table and bed are taught, long before others, such as trust, desire and...

Cashless society Vs terrorism: Are States fighting last year’s war again? - 12/12/2018

The deletion of cash will do little or nothing to tackle terrorist cells, which have an arsenal of fall-back solutions, such as ghost accounts, offshore accounts, hawala networks, foreign currencies, etc. A cashless society will simply impose on itself the totalitarianism which terrorists would otherwise bring. In the growing arsenal of State strategies to fight terrorism, fostering cashless societies has been hailed as a method to deprive terrorists of the most private payment system. With electronic money as the sole transaction medium, States hope to use the paper trail to track terrorist...

Inclusion: a cashless economy fights the poorest, not poverty - 06/04/2018

Payment tools which were, a few decades ago, reserved to the wealthy are now widespread, as banking and financial systems develop throughout the world. According to some, the development of electronic means not only warrants the termination of paper currency but would also enable further financial inclusion for impoverished masses. Yet, financial experts fear the potential backlash of such a theory, as recent examples have shown.

A cashless economy to root out theft and petty crime? - 06/04/2018

The prospect of making crime disappear has been addressed simultaneously with simply deleting other human woes, such as tax evasion and poverty, namely by economist Ken Rogoff. But just as going cashless would merely add more red tape to being poor, suppressing paper currency would do nothing to stymie crime. In fact, our increasingly cashless society has given birth to new, bigger, stealthier forms of crime.

A cashless economy as a bulwark against fraud and tax evasion? - 06/04/2018

It was Ken Rogoff’s most controversial theory: economies should ban cash in order to address tax evasion and place every single transaction on their radars. By doing so, the rich would no longer be able to hurdle suitcases packed with bills onto airplanes and fiscal justice would be resumed. But the theory has many holes.

Does a cashless economy really boost economic growth for all? - 06/01/2018

Various economists are calling for the strong reduction of cash in order to boost economies and the efficiency levels of central banks. While the arguments make some economic sense, their implementation would come at a high political and democratic price. Must economies be privileged and take the lead on political freedom, at the price of unethical government practices?

Governments and sovereignty concerns in a cashless society - 06/01/2018

Central banks are putting up remarkably little resistance in defending the currencies they issue, in the global war on cash. As cash prevalence slowly dwindles, private banks and payment solutions are getting closer to their goals, and central banks take a second-row seat to the show. But the demise of cash would relinquish them to the status of secondary players on the market and do disservice to the peoples they administer.

Why commercial banks are lobbying in favor of a cashless economy - 06/01/2018

Banks are eager to press on towards cashless societies, with increased efficiency and margins in sight. The abolition of cash, however, will generate new hidden costs for the public, and place economies under a high risk, with all eggs in one basket.
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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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Top Ten Things To Know

The debate

What are the pitfalls of a cash-free society ?

In a cashless society, Big Brother will always know when you buy milk

Education: how will we teach the value of money without cash?

Cashless society Vs terrorism: Are States fighting last year’s war again?

Inclusion: a cashless economy fights the poorest, not poverty

A cashless economy to root out theft and petty crime?

A cashless economy as a bulwark against fraud and tax evasion?

Does a cashless economy really boost economic growth for all?

Governments and sovereignty concerns in a cashless society

Why commercial banks are lobbying in favor of a cashless economy