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Saying there might be a problem with humanitarian cash transfers is like saying that you don’t think Baby Yoda is that cute; but somebody has to risk becoming a pariah in the aid community, and it might as well be me, since I’m already a pariah in the Star Wars community. The problem is not with cash transfers per se, but with the financial technology we rely on to implement those transfers, and which makes possible and monetises surveillance on a scale never seen before. One argument for cash transfers is that they cut out intermediaries – the UN agencies and NGOs who are currently...

Some UK politicians battle against cashless - 03/01/2021

OLDHAM West and Royton MP Jim McMahon has joined calls for the government to put forward a law protecting the most vulnerable in our society from being left behind by the transition to a cashless society. The Covid-19 pandemic and concerns about how hygienic the use of cash is have accelerated society's move towards becoming wholly cashless, with more than a third of shoppers reporting that they’ve been refused when trying to pay cash at least once since the first lockdown back in March 2020. Compounded by the decrease in how often cash is being accepted, it is becoming increasingly...

Is Pakistan eager to follow cashless India? - 02/25/2021

The spike in oil prices and the ensuing balance-of-payments crisis during the First Gulf War in 1991 forced India to dismantle its licence-permit-raj economy. The difficult task fell to Manmohan Singh, the then finance minister, who aptly quoted Victor Hugo as he announced structural reforms in his budget speech: “No power on earth can stop an idea whose time has come.” Recently in Pakistan, the idea of demonetising the 5,000 Pakistani rupees note has been gaining traction. Before policymakers plunge headfirst, they may want to gauge whether the time has truly come for demonetisation by...

Terrorism, money laundring: the risks of digital currency trading - 02/23/2021

The Monetary Authority of Macao (AMCM) has informed Macau News Agency that the trading of virtual currencies still implies considerable risks, including money laundering and terrorism financing. The response was issued after an inquire on current works related to digital currency legislation, with the local monetary authority maintaining its cautious view towards decentralised digital currencies. “Bitcoin, or any kinds of cryptocurrencies, are types of the virtual commodity which is neither a legal tender nor a financial instrument subject to the supervision of the AMCM,’ the monetary...

Venezuela risks cashless - 02/21/2021

Cashless society proponents should pay attention. Privacy concerns have been the major barrier for many people who don’t trust the concept of a completely cashless society no matter where in the world that cashless society might be practiced. The worst case scenario of which anyone could imagine is taking place right now. The Nicolas Maduro government in Venezuela is about to demonstrate to the world what happens when a dictatorial government abolishes all forms of physical cash. To put it mildly, secret police will be your neighbor! The government is about to be inside your wallet....

Welfare cards don't do the job - 02/19/2021

A $2.5 million government report into the cashless debit card is inconclusive on whether it reduces harm from alcohol, drugs and gambling, but has found people on the welfare cards are ashamed and embarrassed. "It's ostrich policy - put your head in the sand," Labor MP Linda Burney told reporters in Canberra on Thursday. "We do not believe there should be mandatory, universal application of a cashless debit card because people are on Centrelink benefits." Social Services Minister Anne Ruston made the decision to extend the trial sites without any evidence and without waiting for the...

Freedom of choice: Paying cash must be an option - 02/09/2021

A Plymouth man is raging about the fact he can't park up on Plymouth Hoe unless he has a debit card or a mobile to hand. Chris Whitby contacted PlymouthLive as he feels motorists' daily freedoms are being curbed because they can't use old fashioned cash to get a ticket in the meter. He often visits the Hoe, he says, and on every trip there in the last few weeks, he’s noticed payment machines don't accept money. Worried about get fined for not being able to pay for his parking on a visit earlier this week, Chris approached a parking attendant – and was shocked to hear that Plymouth City...

India's digital currency is facing huge problems - 02/05/2021

As countries, especially developed economies, are paying accelerating efforts on developing official digital currencies, India has also repeated its intention to follow up the agenda, with latest efforts on weighing a new law to ban private crypto-currencies and to pave the way for official digital currency issuance. However, with currently insufficient financial and technological prerequisites, it may not be a mature decision for India. India considers to roll out a law to ban private crypto-currencies including bitcoin, which will "create a facilitative framework for creation of the...

Bank closures are a threat - 02/03/2021

Rishi Sunak MP has been criticised follow an announcement that more banks are closing in his constituency. The MP and Chancellor of the Exchequer used his March 2020 budget to promise alternative facilities for vulnerable and rural communities who rely on cash. But local campaigners say the chancellor is letting down his own voters as HSBC announced the closure of its last two branches in the constituency. The banking giant says its Richmond and Northallerton branches will shut this year, following Hawes, Leyburn and Stokesley which shut in the last rounds of closures. Read more

Ireland is not ready to move to a whole cashless society - 01/30/2021

The increased use of contactless and digital payments during the pandemic will not lead to the exclusion of cash payments in Ireland, the minister for finance has said. The rise in digital financial services has seen some retailers refuse to accept cash but has led to concerns that vulnerable groups who rely on cash payments could be excluded. The issue was raised in the Dáil recently where Labour Party spokesperson for finance Ged Nash asked the minister, Paschal Donohoe, if legislation was planned to ban digital-only payments. The minister confirmed that, currently, a retailer can...
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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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