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Why jumping to a cashless society is wrong





The downsides of a rapid shift to digital payments are well known—the elderly, poor, and people with handicaps can be especially unprepared. Black Americans are less likely to have bank accounts than other groups in the US, and the same is true for poor people in Europe, according to a report published today by the Bank for International Settlements. Small businesses tend to bear the highest costs for card payments, and BIS data show that cash transactions remain cheaper to process for merchants.

“There is still a long way to go in terms of increasing access, reducing costs, and making the system more efficient,” Hyun Song Shin, head of research at the BIS, said in a phone interview. “The cost of payments is still quite high considering the technology advances that we’ve made, and the cost is borne disproportionately by the unbanked or underbanked, and on small businesses.”

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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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