The debate

The Dangers of a Cashless Economy - 10/01/2019

Shoppers beware! The saying goes: the road to hell is paved with good intentions, and the devil never shows his face – meaning that all mistakes seemed initially like a good idea. For the past decades, we have enjoyed the increased options of how we make payments, drifting from cash-only to mobile payments, for instance. But what seemed like a luxury could be the pernicious road to grave dangers, as cash slowly disappears.   Cashless trends worldwide   Sweden has seen its cashless revolution heavily documented and reported on, as observers throughout the world used the...

"It's time to halt the relentless drive for a cashless society" Ross Clark - 09/21/2019

HOW ironic that at a time when the Bank of England is putting more women on banknotes in order to promote “inclusivity”, it is becoming harder for us to get hold of those notes. According to the consumer group Which?, 5,000 cashpoints have been lost over the past 18 months — one in ten of the total. Worse, poor areas are being struck most. Nearly a thousand of the lost cashpoints were in the most deprived areas, such as Birmingham Ladywood, which has lost 47 machines. Some towns no longer have a machine at all, or if they do it is one that charges people a fee to access their own...

Cashless society: two sides of the debate - 09/20/2019

Recently, a number of states in the US brought in legislation to prevent the rise of so-called ‘cash-free stores’ which only accept digital payments. Some see that denying payments in cash is a form of discrimination against people with lower incomes. This is but one more episode in an ongoing debate over the possible future of our economy. Under consideration is the discontinuation of cash as a means of exchange. Should we double down on our race towards digital dependency ? There are various axes upon which pro-digital economists assert that cash should go, despite significant drawbacks...

The cashless society in question: why going cashless puts privacy at risk? - 09/17/2019

The debate around the cashless society has gained momentum. One of the main fears to stand out is privacy: in a world without cash, a prying eye will always be privy to every single transaction we carry out. The main revolution has gone unnoticed: since we have moved on from mainly cash transactions, gradually and over the course of decades), our transactions are no longer private. Every time we purchase something, every piece of information (known as metadata) is registered: time, amount, type of card, payment sender, payment receiver, location, etc. Business reporter Anthony Hilton writes...

The IMF wants to ban cash so so you pay the bank to hold your money - 08/26/2019

As the Federal Government moves to ban cash transactions above $10,000, there's a theory gaining traction that the real motive for the cash ban isn't the so-called "black economy", but rather, to give authorities greater control over your behaviour during recessions.   This theory, put forward by economists such as John Adams — and picked up by some federal politicians — has not been plucked out of thin air. It is based on repeated public papers and statements by the international body in charge of financial stability — the Washington-based International Monetary Fund (IMF). A recent...

A cashless society may not equal financial inclusion - 08/23/2019

As the world adopts the digitisation of everyday life, there is a global trend aiming at financial inclusion. The improvements in technology have resulted in opportunities for payment solutions and governments to offer more affordable transacting for the previously unbanked. However, that is not to say that a cashless society is a utopian one, writes Vaughan Alexander, CEO at Innervation Pan African Payment Solutions. Cashless transacting enables organisations to engage with customers in more meaningful and personalised ways due to the data they generate about habits, preferences and other...

What the demise of the cashless society will really mean - 06/21/2019

Are you all about the cash or card these days? We are slowly moving towards a cashless society and more and more places no longer take your cold hard cash money. And while that might seem like we're moving it going to be good for everyone? Professor Supriya Singh, is from RMIT University with with a speciality in sociology of money and banking. She speaks with Kia Handley. Read

Is going full cashless society a threat? - 05/31/2019

Despite inquests spurred by the Cambridge Analytica scandal, many of us have pretty much accepted Facebook eavesdropping on us as part of life. However, e-wallets expose us on a whole new level. Setting up an e-wallet requires identity proof which involves submission of identity cards or passports. The removal of anonymity allows every online activity to be traced back to a person. Read more

Cashless backlash delays move to walletless economy - 05/28/2019

Laura Leister, owner of Pieces, a board game bar and restaurant in St. Louis, Missouri, said she started off as cashless because she believed it would make running the business easier and safer. It did. "We didn't have to worry about extra security cameras, or cash-handling training," she said. "From a procedural standpoint it worked out well."  After six months, though, she started accepting cash, in response to some customers' frustration.  "People started educating me, and even some customers who had credit cards said they didn't keep enough money in their bank accounts to use...

What are the pitfalls of a cash-free society ? - 05/03/2019

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
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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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