What is the true cost of going cashless ?

This week saw another milestone reached in the journey towards a cashless UK with news that consumers now spend more money on credit cards alone than they do in hard cash. 

While that may say quite a lot about our debt crisis, it’s also another nail in the cash coffin. 
Physical money now forms just £1 in every £5 spent with UK retailers, according to data from the British Retail Consortium.
But does it really matter? And who to?

By 2027, cash will account for barely one in every 10 transactions. 

But the chances of us being completely cashless anytime soon remains unlikely. At least, the 1.3 million people in the UK who still don’t have a bank account must hope so, along with the 2.2 million people who rely on cash for their everyday spending. That’s 4 per cent of the adult population.

Even last year, 13 billion transactions were still made in cash, according to Sarah John, chief cashier for the Bank of England

“Those most reliant on cash tend to be from lower household incomes, with over half having total household incomes of less than £10,000 per year,” she added. 

“The tangibility of cash is a key benefit, allowing them to physically calculate and budget their spending. Digital payments do not yet work for everyone. 

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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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