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Cashless: making drug dealers’ lives easier

Categories : Cash generates security, Cash is trust
February 20, 2018
Tags : Branches, Cash, Cashless, Technology, United Kingdom
As businesses and individuals in the UK increasingly use contactless and cashless payments, the question remains whether a fully cashless society would truly benefit all members of society.
Communication Team / Equipo de Comunicación

This post is also available in: Spanish

The Guardian just published a compilation of stories about cash and cashless payments in the UK analyzing shifting payment habits of businesses and individuals.

Many businesses have chosen to adopt cashless payments because of a growing demand for cards, others because they know that they can make more profits, like in the case of a drug dealer that was interviewed. In fact, cash only makes drug dealers’ lives harder, not easier – a revelation that is the polar opposite to what some anti-cash lawmakers and politicians are suggesting. Through the darknet, cashless payments have not only helped dealers significantly increase profits, but have also made their lives safer as they no longer have to wander the streets selling individual pills. “Cash never comes anywhere near buyer or seller [via the darknet], so all the government’s promises that the cashless society would outlaw drug dealing are a lie.”

For those living in the countryside, rampant closures of bank branches have had a negative effect on cash availability.  Many Ryedale Folk Museum visitors are switching to cashless payments because of this – yet, transaction speed has not improved. On the contrary: due to a less reliable broadband connection, rural areas are affected by excruciatingly slow card processing times. “The connection is slow and we often joke with our customers about how things are a little slower out in the countryside.”

And finally, street artists, like the puppeteer Dave Southern, are unwilling to shift to cashless as they cannot see the benefits of digital payments neither for their earnings nor for the interaction with their audiences. “It’s that interaction and relationship which is why cash survives in street performance: sticking a contactless payment device in people’s faces isn’t the same as the familiar hat”.


This post is also available in: Spanish