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Oh Jong-gyun, a 35-year-old in Seoul, had an awkward moment when he went to pay for valet service during a blind date last week. Not only was he feeling shy in front of a lady he had just met that evening, Oh also realized that he hadn‘t carried ”real money“ for months. “I risked losing face, on my first date, to ask her for 3,000 won. Well, she didn’t have it either,” he said. Oh is one of growing number South Koreans living without physical money as they no longer see the need to carry it around. As one of the most tech-savvy countries in the world, Asia‘s fourth-largest economy has...

ATM fees: a way to force people adopting cashless? - 05/11/2021

Belfast council is demanding a cap on charges at ATMs, and asking the leading financial authority if companies are profiteering with their use in deprived areas. At this week’s full meeting of Belfast City Council (Tuesday May 4th), a motion was passed, with cross party support, to write to the Financial Conduct Authority urging it to cap the number of ATMs that charge for withdrawing cash. The council will also ask the FCA the criteria for the location of commercial ATMs and if there is a concentration of ATMs in areas of social deprivation on the grounds they may be used more often....

Cash is a needed public good - 05/09/2021

Australia is well on its way to becoming a cashless society, with forecasts suggesting that cash will account for just 2 per cent of transactions by 2024. This makes Australia the world’s fourth most cash-averse economy, after Sweden, Denmark and Hong Kong. Cash payments are often associated with “under the table” transactions to avoid tax obligations, or for black market dealings involving drugs or stolen property. It’s also literally quite dirty, and the move towards cashless transactions has accelerated during the pandemic. However, cash also has many legitimate uses. 1. Cash helps...

What place for seniors in a Cashless Economy? - 05/07/2021

Imagine a world without paper money or coins. Retail stores do not accept cash. Banks do not accept cash deposits. That far-off world actually exists—or almost exists—today, at least in Sweden and a few other countries that are going cashless. Citizens in these places use debit cards, mobile payment systems and other digital tools to buy stuff. Young adults who grew up online may view banknotes as a throwback to another era — like print newspapers and leather-bound encyclopedias. Heck, they may welcome the opportunity to implant a chip in their hand rather than futz with an actual wallet...

Cashless or all cash: There is a good middle ground - 04/19/2021

Cash-free payment methods have become life-changing for many in the era of the Fourth Industrial Revolution. However, people around the world disagree on what the superior method of payment is, and it seems to be a subjective thing. In East Asia, there are also distinct national trends. South Korea has typically been seen as the cashless champion of Asia. According to research, only 14% of payments in South Korea involve cash. Some might say that it is already a cashless society, and the main reason it has happened is that South Koreans want it. The country has an almost 100% smartphone...

How Cashless is harming the elderly - 04/17/2021

When the UK Government increased the limit on contactless payments from £30 to £45 in April last year, a country gripped by Covid-19 and under nationwide lockdown for the first time welcomed the move. An increase had been under discussion for some time, but the pandemic expedited the move, with the authorities keen to reduce the need for physical contact in shops and to cut queues to help keep people safe. Later this year the contactless limit will be increased once more to £100. For most, the April change made sense. People were spending much more on their visits to shops and...

The UK on its way to Cashless Society? - 04/07/2021

With the recent increase in contactless transactions with both credit cards and mobile applications, alongside the mass closure of local bank branches and ATM’s due to the pandemic; are we becoming a cashless society? Recently on the 13th of March the price of Bitcoin against the US Dollar rose to $60,000, the highest it’s ever been since its creation in 2009. Since the start of the year the price of Bitcoin has nearly tripled. However, the price of Bitcoin saw a sharp decline shortly afterwards, from the 14th March onwards. This highlights its volatility since it has no intrinsic value,...

Cashless public transports hurts the most vulnerable users - 03/31/2021

Some members of Greater Wellington Regional Council's own public transport advisory group are opposing the removal of cash payments from peak-hour express bus services in the capital. They say cashless buses on the city's current network have little benefits and seriously hurt the city's most vulnerable users. Metlink is set to trial the removal of cash payments from services 30x, 31x, 32x, 85x starting in June. It's part of Greater Wellington Regional Council's (GWRC) effort to increase contactless payments across the network ahead of a delayed and long-awaited national integrated...

Brits are not ready for a Cashless society - 03/22/2021

Over half (54%) of British people admit to avoiding cash to pay for goods and services but – as high streets continue to push ‘card payments only’ policies and the ‘contactless’ card payment limit will more than double later this year – three quarters of people (78%) remain against a move to a ‘cashless society’. With two million people still relying on cash for everyday spending, and the UK’s ‘unbanked’ population standing at one million, behavioural insight company SimpleUsability is urging the nation to be more mindful of those who may face financial and social exclusion. The Bank of...

Access to cash: Sweden is thinking twice about all cashless - 03/20/2021

New cash machines will be installed in 17 Swedish towns after the country changed its laws to require the country’s major banks to offer cash withdrawals even in rural areas. The new law means that six of Sweden’s largest banks have to allow customers to deposit and take out cash from their branches, without having to travel too far. As part of this, Bankomat – a company co-owned by Sweden’s banking giants – said it would install 17 new cash machines across the country in the first half of 2021. Ten of these towns will get their first cash machines, and seven will have their current...
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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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