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The Dangers of a Cashless Society.

I have just read this article and it has certainly made me think. Maybe it will make you think as well.


The End of Financial Privacy: The Many Dangers of a Cashless Society

The Gold Telegraph ( Original )
MAY 10, 2018

So much of what we lose when we use credit or debit cards takes place behind the scenes.

We don't actively see the algorithms being run to predict our future behavior. We don't have a seat at the table as marketers pore over the reams of personal data we so willingly turned over to them, for free, to enable them to better separate us from our wealth.

Your cash card leaves a wide data trail detailing your buying preferences, used by merchants and advertisers to entice you into more buying. How convenient. These thoughtful companies even offer reward points every time you use the card. Cash offers the ultimate in privacy. Your cash card might as well be a walking billboard.

The government, of course, is extremely interested in your spending habits. The taxing authorities use an electronic money trail to monitor your spending and ensure against tax evasion. In addition, cards save the government the cost and trouble of printing and storing additional currency.

Cash in hand has always represented freedom, and that is now being eroded at an alarming rate. Private, legal transactions will become illegal or impossible in a cashless society when every financial transaction is being monitored and scrutinized.

Without cash, people become purely dependent on big banks. What happens when the banks fail? During times of crisis, banks could shut their doors and prevent depositors from accessing their money. The lack of genuine cash shifts the power from the individual to corporations and government authorities.

If we are relinquishing freedom and power for the convenience of cashless transactions, perhaps we need to consider who is on the receiving end. Banks and governments are amassing the ultimate power by gradually removing the last vestige of freedom – cash. Those who are ready to give up their cash will surely pay the price.

ORIGINAL SOURCE: A Cashless Society – It is Coming by Virginia Fidler at The Gold Telegraph on 5/9/18
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Comments

  • edited August 2018
    Whilst the privacy issue is important and one that is growimg momentum in public opinion and in the press I actually don't think it is the major issue of society going completely cashless.

    The benefits are very attractive, ease and convenience for the consumer removal of a huge amount of small scale tax avoidance. There will be practical issues like every babysitter or handyman needing a card machine to ensure payment on the spot.

    The real issue in my view occurs when a country next has a financial crisis. Cash is a large part of the basis for our whole economic system. The system has adapted to less cash usage and rightly so. But to completely remove it risks the removal of something fundamental to the system.

    Whilst times are good there won't be an issue, when a financial crisis occurs we would no longer have the ability to have our basic economic right to hold our wealth as cash as a show of distrust in a particular bank or the banking system. It may benefit the banks to prevent a run taking place but it isn't good for the individual or the economy.

    Also - and some may see this as conspiracy theorist of me but hear me out. With the current financial state of so many western countries another financial crisis could well lead to extreme measures to raise cash and fund services. In Cyprus after the last crisis the government simply dipped into all bank accounts and took a %. Completely cashless leaves that open as an easy option when it should be last resort. Whilst I don't think that sort of action is likely in the UK anytime soon another financial crisis could well push counties like Portugal Ireland italy Greece Spain into desperate measures. The ECB or IMF are unlikely to approve another set of loans. Governments may be backed into a corner.
  • Having said all that I am pretty much cashless and woukd happily do so. Just think being informed of the risks is sensible.
  • Whilst the privacy issue is important and one that is growimg momentum in public opinion and in the press I actually don't think it is the major issue of society going completely cashless.

    The benefits are very attractive, ease and convenience for the consumer removal of a huge amount of small scale tax avoidance. There will be practical issues like every babysitter or handyman needing a card machine to ensure payment on the spot.

    The real issue in my view occurs when a country next has a financial crisis. Cash is a large part of the basis for our whole economic system. The system has adapted to less cash usage and rightly so. But to completely remove it risks the removal of something fundamental to the system.

    Whilst times are good there won't be an issue, when a financial crisis occurs we would no longer have the ability to have our basic economic right to hold our wealth as cash as a show of distrust in a particular bank or the banking system. It may benefit the banks to prevent a run taking place but it isn't good for the individual or the economy.

    Also - and some may see this as conspiracy theorist of me but hear me out. With the current financial state of so many western countries another financial crisis could well lead to extreme measures to raise cash and fund services. In Cyprus after the last crisis the government simply dipped into all bank accounts and took a %. Completely cashless leaves that open as an easy option when it should be last resort. Whilst I don't think that sort of action is likely in the UK anytime soon another financial crisis could well push counties like Portugal Ireland italy Greece Spain into desperate measures. The ECB or IMF are unlikely to approve another set of loans. Governments may be backed into a corner.

    That’s partly why we have the FSCS to guarantee £85k per person per bank ie to give some comfort.
  • Trade offs. It helps mitigate against tax evasion, money laundering, terrorist funding etc. It’s also bloody convenient.

    Costs saved by central banks in issuing notes etc are replaced by costs in running cashless payment mechanisms.

    Cash remains for now for those iit suits. Supply follows demand.

    We all assume free banking is a right but not so many tears ago bank charges for a basic account were the norm.

    Things move on. It’s not a conspiracy theory.

    With Ring fencing (separation of investment and retail banks) this is going to become much more common in the next few years. Retail banks don't make enough money to justify such large operations and in many cases they were there as an image/marketing front for the investment side which funded the whole operation.

    Separation will cause retail banks to be more profit conscious and will be worse for the consumer in the long run imo.
  • Bet people said the same thing when they had to stop trading 300 potatoes for a cow and had to move to coins.

    Cash isn’t anything “real” if you drill down into it. It always has and always will be a power and control mechanism in whatever form it is.

    No need to fret over it.
  • edited August 2018

    Whilst the privacy issue is important and one that is growimg momentum in public opinion and in the press I actually don't think it is the major issue of society going completely cashless.

    The benefits are very attractive, ease and convenience for the consumer removal of a huge amount of small scale tax avoidance. There will be practical issues like every babysitter or handyman needing a card machine to ensure payment on the spot.

    The real issue in my view occurs when a country next has a financial crisis. Cash is a large part of the basis for our whole economic system. The system has adapted to less cash usage and rightly so. But to completely remove it risks the removal of something fundamental to the system.

    Whilst times are good there won't be an issue, when a financial crisis occurs we would no longer have the ability to have our basic economic right to hold our wealth as cash as a show of distrust in a particular bank or the banking system. It may benefit the banks to prevent a run taking place but it isn't good for the individual or the economy.

    Also - and some may see this as conspiracy theorist of me but hear me out. With the current financial state of so many western countries another financial crisis could well lead to extreme measures to raise cash and fund services. In Cyprus after the last crisis the government simply dipped into all bank accounts and took a %. Completely cashless leaves that open as an easy option when it should be last resort. Whilst I don't think that sort of action is likely in the UK anytime soon another financial crisis could well push counties like Portugal Ireland italy Greece Spain into desperate measures. The ECB or IMF are unlikely to approve another set of loans. Governments may be backed into a corner.

    That’s partly why we have the FSCS to guarantee £85k per person per bank ie to give some comfort.
    Sure your money is guaranteed. That isn't to say people shouldn't have the ability to express their distrust of the banking system and choose to hold their wealth in other places. Usually when a run on the banks happen 99% of those removing money are covered by FSCS (those with more have high paid accountant and advisors sorting them out). The point is the economic system has always had a way people can hold money other than in a bank. It's a risk to remove this without thinking it fully though.

    I guess one could buy shares or gold as an alternative. But you can't exactly buy your weekly shop with a bar of gold or a share certificate.

  • edited August 2018
    WSS said:

    Whilst the privacy issue is important and one that is growimg momentum in public opinion and in the press I actually don't think it is the major issue of society going completely cashless.

    The benefits are very attractive, ease and convenience for the consumer removal of a huge amount of small scale tax avoidance. There will be practical issues like every babysitter or handyman needing a card machine to ensure payment on the spot.

    The real issue in my view occurs when a country next has a financial crisis. Cash is a large part of the basis for our whole economic system. The system has adapted to less cash usage and rightly so. But to completely remove it risks the removal of something fundamental to the system.

    Whilst times are good there won't be an issue, when a financial crisis occurs we would no longer have the ability to have our basic economic right to hold our wealth as cash as a show of distrust in a particular bank or the banking system. It may benefit the banks to prevent a run taking place but it isn't good for the individual or the economy.

    Also - and some may see this as conspiracy theorist of me but hear me out. With the current financial state of so many western countries another financial crisis could well lead to extreme measures to raise cash and fund services. In Cyprus after the last crisis the government simply dipped into all bank accounts and took a %. Completely cashless leaves that open as an easy option when it should be last resort. Whilst I don't think that sort of action is likely in the UK anytime soon another financial crisis could well push counties like Portugal Ireland italy Greece Spain into desperate measures. The ECB or IMF are unlikely to approve another set of loans. Governments may be backed into a corner.

    That’s partly why we have the FSCS to guarantee £85k per person per bank ie to give some comfort.
    Sure your money is guaranteed. That isn't to say people shouldn't have the ability to express their distrust of the banking system and choose to hold their wealth in other places. Usually when a run on the banks happen 99% of those removing money are covered by FSCS )those with more have high paid accountant and advisors sorting them out). The point is the economic system has always had a way people can hold money other than in a bank. It's a risk to remove this without thinking it fully though.

    I guess one could buy shares or gold as an alternative. But you can't exactly buy your weekly shop with a bar of gold or a share certificate.

    What about stamps?

    Legal tender, have to accept it.


    Didnt know that. Interesting if true.
  • Stamps are not legal tender. Fact
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  • Whilst the privacy issue is important and one that is growimg momentum in public opinion and in the press I actually don't think it is the major issue of society going completely cashless.

    The benefits are very attractive, ease and convenience for the consumer removal of a huge amount of small scale tax avoidance. There will be practical issues like every babysitter or handyman needing a card machine to ensure payment on the spot.

    The real issue in my view occurs when a country next has a financial crisis. Cash is a large part of the basis for our whole economic system. The system has adapted to less cash usage and rightly so. But to completely remove it risks the removal of something fundamental to the system.

    Whilst times are good there won't be an issue, when a financial crisis occurs we would no longer have the ability to have our basic economic right to hold our wealth as cash as a show of distrust in a particular bank or the banking system. It may benefit the banks to prevent a run taking place but it isn't good for the individual or the economy.

    Also - and some may see this as conspiracy theorist of me but hear me out. With the current financial state of so many western countries another financial crisis could well lead to extreme measures to raise cash and fund services. In Cyprus after the last crisis the government simply dipped into all bank accounts and took a %. Completely cashless leaves that open as an easy option when it should be last resort. Whilst I don't think that sort of action is likely in the UK anytime soon another financial crisis could well push counties like Portugal Ireland italy Greece Spain into desperate measures. The ECB or IMF are unlikely to approve another set of loans. Governments may be backed into a corner.

    That’s partly why we have the FSCS to guarantee £85k per person per bank ie to give some comfort.
    And thankfully the financial centres and politicians in this country are renowned for their decency, honesty and not changing rules to benefit them as and when. You really think that would be honoured if there was a really big financial crisis?
  • Also worth thinking of the effects it has on the homeless.
  • I’m tapping contactless more and more, which is a shame as most of my savings for kids trips / holidays are built up from collecting £2 and 20p coins in my change
  • I watched something recently about how the Federal Reserve in the States is being blamed in some quarters for devaluing money by removing the precious/valuable metal content that used to act as a guarantee on the value of the coin.

    This thread has encouraged me to look into this whole cashless society idea.

    I try to use cash as much as possible for everyday transactions and even when purchasing something that I could buy online. Might have something to do with preferring to interact with people and being able to polish up on the haggling technique for when I'm browsing a Turkish market for snide Rolex's (@bobmunro will know what I'm talking about :wink: ).
  • I watched something recently about how the Federal Reserve in the States is being blamed in some quarters for devaluing money by removing the precious/valuable metal content that used to act as a guarantee on the value of the coin.

    This thread has encouraged me to look into this whole cashless society idea.

    I try to use cash as much as possible for everyday transactions and even when purchasing something that I could buy online. Might have something to do with preferring to interact with people and being able to polish up on the haggling technique for when I'm browsing a Turkish market for snide Rolex's (@bobmunro will know what I'm talking about :wink: ).

    TBF, your a Spanner. So you'll either be selling stolen goods out of a car boot or bananas off the back of a barra!

    (Cheap shot but i had to take it...)
    Selling out the back of a motor? Gumtree is where it's at, even for a £5 maximum top up a month (it's all that's needed as I tend to 'find' unused top ups in my line of work. Coincidence, huh?), pay as you go, 13p a minute internet tariff spanner like myself.
  • Stamps are not legal tender. Fact

    Did you not see my YouTube link? Pretty definitive.
  • I’m tapping contactless more and more, which is a shame as most of my savings for kids trips / holidays are built up from collecting £2 and 20p coins in my change

    Get a bank account where you can round up and it pings it off to a pot.
  • I don't see how we can go cashless until anonymous pre paid cards become widespread. There are just too many parts of the economy where people don't want to leave a paper trail for either legal or privacy reasons.
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  • one word: Cryptocurrencies.
  • Biggest danger of a cashless society is that I wouldn't have any cash. No change there then!
  • No worries. Increasingly we are living in a moneyless society for a growing number.
  • WSS said:

    Bet people said the same thing when they had to stop trading 300 potatoes for a cow and had to move to coins.

    Cash isn’t anything “real” if you drill down into it. It always has and always will be a power and control mechanism in whatever form it is.

    No need to fret over it.

    Just what my dad said about my guitar.
  • I watched something recently about how the Federal Reserve in the States is being blamed in some quarters for devaluing money by removing the precious/valuable metal content that used to act as a guarantee on the value of the coin.

    This thread has encouraged me to look into this whole cashless society idea.

    I try to use cash as much as possible for everyday transactions and even when purchasing something that I could buy online. Might have something to do with preferring to interact with people and being able to polish up on the haggling technique for when I'm browsing a Turkish market for snide Rolex's (@bobmunro will know what I'm talking about :wink: ).

    There's nothing snide about my Rolex's - I sincerely hope so anyway!
  • bobmunro said:

    I watched something recently about how the Federal Reserve in the States is being blamed in some quarters for devaluing money by removing the precious/valuable metal content that used to act as a guarantee on the value of the coin.

    This thread has encouraged me to look into this whole cashless society idea.

    I try to use cash as much as possible for everyday transactions and even when purchasing something that I could buy online. Might have something to do with preferring to interact with people and being able to polish up on the haggling technique for when I'm browsing a Turkish market for snide Rolex's (@bobmunro will know what I'm talking about :wink: ).

    There's nothing snide about my Rolex's - I sincerely hope so anyway!
    On topic! I always carry some cash, maybe £50 or so, but the vast majority of my purchases are by card, mainly Debit but Credit where I want Section 75 protection for larger purchases. It's just so much more convenient.
  • I was in Copenhagen on Monday and Tuesday and am now in Frankfurt, have lived quite happily without a krona or a Euro so far - hotels, pubs, restaurants and taxis all paid on card which actually appeared to be preferred. I live in Peckham and there are a couple of cafes and bars that literally won’t accept cash (which even I think is a bit much!).
  • I reckon I use cash about once or twice a month. I appreciate the concerns around a cashless society, as Canters outlined, but on a day-to-day basis I love not having to carry change, queue up at cash machines etc.

    I also think that if there was to be an economic meltdown, we'd all be fucked anyway. The logistics of our society (in terms of trade and commerce) rely on cashless transactions – so even if you had cash, there wouldn't be much to spend it on after a while.
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