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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...

Philippines want to turn cashless - 03/17/2021

The Philippines government stated Tuesday that it is prepared to become a fully cashless society, partly in response to the rapid spread of COVID-19 throughout the country last year and the role played in doing so by the handling of money. The issue was raised following a recent survey conducted by international currency transfer firm MoneyTransfers.com which found that 21 nations are in favour of becoming cashless societies. Many of those are Asian nations, including the Philippines, which ranked sixth on the list of nations willing to support a cashless society with 52% support. Read...

The wrong and unknown sides of cashless charity - 03/05/2021

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....
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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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