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"This shift to all-digital upends the foundation of our economy and creates unintended consequences for consumers." Frank Sorrentino, CEO of ConnectOne Bank





While a cashless economy seems like the natural evolution of our collective marketplace, the question is, is a cashless economy beneficial or harmful? Banks and legislators are both having these discussions. States are beginning to take steps to ban cashless stores. When you take a closer look, however, this shift to all-digital upends the foundation of our economy and creates unintended consequences for consumers.
First, it can be more costly.  For local small businesses, solely accepting cards means increased expenses. Merchants will be faced with paying card processing fees and those may ultimately be passed onto the consumer. For these types of businesses, accepting cash provides a smooth operation and offers additional options to their clients.
Consumer privacy is another issue stemming from a cashless economy. While the move to a digital economy has created tremendous benefits in terms of convenience in paying for goods and services, it also creates a digital trail every time someone makes a payment. Consumers should be able to decide whether they want to leave their personal data with a business. If you take cash out of the equation, they no longer have that choice.

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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