Lower Incomes and over 55s at 'Risk of being left behind' in a cashless society

The ‘war on cash’ isn’t going well!

Over the past few years we have been hearing more and more how cash’s days are numbered. Over the last few months however, this narrative has started to fall apart.


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Sweden is usually held up as the example of a cashless economy and they do indeed make a lot of cashless payments. However, the government there is now slowing down the process. They are concerned that older people, people with special needs and migrants could be excluded by cashless payments. However, they are also concerned about who controls the economy if there is no cash. The banks? A comforting thought…

Two weeks ago Philadelphia was the first US city to announce a ban on cashless only shops. New York and New Jersey look like they will soon follow this lead. The reason? To ‘protect all citizens access to the market place’ i.e. to make sure those without ability to make a cashless payment are not further excluded.

Last week in the UK, Accenture released a major new study in cashless payments. Again, the finding was that ‘over 55’s and low earners’ are ‘at risk of being left behind.’ Specifically, they calculate that 8m UK adults would struggle to cope in a cashless society.

We have said it here before, the drive to cashless payments is not for the benefit of the consumer. It is a cost cutting exercise. The consumer needs to be protected and they should have the choice of making a payment the way they want to.


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