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The poorest will suffer the most if the idea of a cashless society goes wrong





On November 8, 2016, the Indian Prime Minister announced that the country’s two highest denomination banknotes would no longer be legal tender. The 500 and 1000 rupee notes accounted for 86 per cent of currency supply in a country where roughly 90 per cent of transactions are done in cash. In the aftermath of Modi’s overnight demonetisation, sociologists documented how it was poor people who were disproportionately affected. Replacement notes turned out to be in short supply and poor people found it hardest to get to banks and trade in old for new.

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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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