The debate

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.

Ecology: the carbon footprint of payment means in a cashless economy - 06/01/2018

Amongst the many arguments presented by anti-cash supporters, the environmental balance of banknotes. Would a cashless world better serve the planet’s interest? Not necessarily: banknotes have excellent footprints due to their durability and recyclability, while cashless payment systems simply hide their own.

The convenience of payments means in a cashless economy - 06/01/2018

The appearance of immaterial payment systems has increased economic convenience for citizens. From there, payment solution companies go double-or-nothing, promising that going full cashless would be even more convenient. But the inconvenience of going to an ATM will be quickly replaced by new, far more tedious ones, should the cash option disappear.

Mass surveillance in a cashless economy: freedom & privacy at risk - 06/01/2018

In the recent years of the struggle against cash, proponents of a cashless society, usually associated with absolute state control, have argued that a world without cash would be a counter-balance to governmental power, not an increase of its control. Cash defenders beg to differ.
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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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