Is a Fully Cashless World Inevitable?


By Joseph Moss, International Banker


The nature of payments and transactions has undergone a dramatic transformation in recent years, with the world rapidly moving away from physical forms of payment, such as notes, coins and cheques, and towards the digital realm. The COVID pandemic has only further expedited this trend through lockdowns and social-distancing restrictions designed to prevent onward transmission of the coronavirus, leading to the handling of physical currency becoming even less common. And with digital transactions offering distinct benefits over cash in terms of convenience, speed, security and even public health, a cashless world appears inevitable.

But truth be told, the pandemic accelerated an already buoyant global trend of going cashless, which had gathered steam under the fintech (financial technology) revolution that kicked off around 10 years ago. “Sweden is rapidly moving away from cash. Demand for cash has dropped by more than 50 percent over the past decade as a growing number of people rely on debit cards or a mobile phone application,…

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