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Why Cash is your best ally in times of Crisis





The demand for cash increases in times of crisis since many people consider banknotes and coins to be a particularly safe way to keep money. Moreover, cash is the only instrument of payment that is largely independent of a technical infrastructure. It is therefore essential that, during a crisis, people can access cash, particularly when other—electronic—means of payment might not be available or only to a limited extent. This is why researchers at the Fraunhofer Institute for Integrated Circuits IIS are working closely with partners to develop a security framework that can be implemented during emergencies and crises. It specifically aims to further secure the work processes of cash management companies.

Despite a growing trend for cashless payments, demand for cash remains high throughout Europe—and even the coronavirus crisis had little effect on this. Although the pandemic prompted a decline in cash payments in the euro area, the European Central Bank (ECB) confirmed a rise in the demand for banknotes, recording an increase of 190 billion euros, or 550 euros per capita per citizen of the euro area, between March 2020 and May 2021. This apparent paradox can be explained by the fact that people tend to hoard cash to cope with uncertainty. Research shows that, at the beginning of the pandemic, consumers cut back their spending but increased their liquid asset portfolios.

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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.










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