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The end of cash: Why, when and how to flick the switch

Will the 21st century see the rise of a cashless society? The introduction of credit cards, digital wallets and cryptocurrencies have led experts over the past decade to speculate on the progressive demise of physical money, with stakeholders such as banks, consumers and governments seemingly gaining from the change. If the world went cashless tomorrow, banks may rejoice at no longer handling notes and coins, which can be counterfeited or stolen. Digital payments would also give banks and payment processors greater information on their customers’ lifestyle. For central banks, digital money could mean more insight into how money flows through the economy, with early warning signs possibly helping monetary policy function more efficiently.

But what of the US$1.7b unbanked worldwide? If people rely entirely on cash, they cannot borrow to grow their businesses or improve life for their families, as cash-dependent often means credit-less. This report from EY discusses the advantages and dangers of moving towards a cash-less society.

At EY, we are committed to building a better working world – with increased trust and confidence in business, sustainable growth, development of talent in all its forms, and greater collaboration. We want to build a better working world through our own actions and by engaging with like-minded organisations and individuals. This is our purpose – and why we exist as an organisation. Running through our organisation is a strong sense of obligation to serve a number of different stakeholders who count on us to deliver quality and excellence in everything we do. We want to use our global reach and scale to convene the conversation about the challenges facing economies and the capital markets. When business works better, the world works better.

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