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The CashTech Forum

How technology and innovation can create a sustainable, future-proof cash cycle

CashTech is the encounter of cash and technology. It brings together innovative companies who leverage software and modern communications technology to improve cash services: access to cash; acceptance of cash; and the efficiency of the cash cycle for all stakeholders.


Comprised mostly of dynamic young start-ups, such as Sonect (Switzerland), SoCash (Singapore); viafintech (Germany) and Shrap (United Kingdom), CashTech realised early that cash services must integrate seamlessly into the lives of users to stay relevant, as cash retains its importance in an increasingly digital world.

As banks reduce their cash infrastructure (branches, ATMs and cash centres) in most advanced economies, CashTech has moved quickly into the open lane. Increasingly, it appears as a compelling addition and complement to traditional channels for the distribution and circulation of cash.


Yet CashTech start-ups are intent on bringing banks further into the CashTech tent – together with retailers and consumers – to keep cash viable amid height- ened global awareness of its enduring role, in terms of inclusion, fairness, resil- ience and the protection of privacy.

Cash continues to hold dominant market positions. Though the amount of cash in circulation is growing faster than GDP in most countries, investor and media interest has focused more on those seeking to displace cash, than innovators working to facilitate its use.

This White Paper seeks to redress the balance. During the coronavirus pandemic, central banks have recorded exceptional spikes in cash demand, as people in- crease their precautionary holdings. This has confirmed the prevalent role of cash as a store of value in a crisis (Heinonen). Citizens on tenterhooks, in the face of a pandemic, have turned en masse to the “rainy day” safe haven of cash and the sense of stability it provides in uncertain times.

But cash-users are holding more and spending less. In the era of the smartphone, the pandemic has changed the way we shop, dramatically reducing consumption as large sections of the economy have shut down. The pandemic has also boosted online shopping and contactless payments, in part due to mislaid fears about cash as a vector of viral transmission.

Long central to its appeal, the tactile nature of cash – helping us budget, spend  more wisely and educate our children about the value of money – must not be allowed to become a performance handicap for physical money. As with any financial product, the capacity for cash to change will be integral to its continuing success.


Cash is universal; anonymous; trusted and resilient; a mainstream payment and monetary instrument that is also a bedrock for the unbanked, elderly and vulnerable.

Retail payments have experienced unprecedented innovation and diversification during the last decades, driven by evolving retail models, technological innovation and deregulation. Yet despite the increased use of electronic payments around the world, there is scant evidence that a shift away from cash has occured. Quite the opposite. Never has there been so much cash in circulation.

Innovation, driven by more progressive market incumbents as well as new entrants, has contributed substantially to making cash more accessible and sustainable for business. It has also served to make the cash cycle shorter, more efficient, and bring cash closer to the people for whom access to cash is a fundamental right.

This is the technology we call, CashTech,making cash perfectly suited to the digital world.

This paper aims to provide an overview of where we are in terms of CashTech innovation, and to encourage its continuation, by supporting the work of innovators, start-ups and scale-ups. The first section focuses on the ever important economic and social role of cash. The second section looks at some of the challenges facing cash, especially in the context of the digitalising world. Section three will give a concise account of how CashTech is addressing these challenges.

CashTech offers solutions, discover them by reading the document below:

Access the pdf version here: CashTech: Taking Cash Forward

This post is also available in: Spanish

About CashTech

Our Mission
Our mission is to promote innovation and technology to ensure a future-proof, and sustainable cash ecosystem, safeguarding and improving it as the world’s dominant means of payment for the benefit of all.

What is CashTech?
CashTech is an initiative by CashEssentials (CE), the transnational think tank specializing in payments and monetary systems.
CashTech brings together innovators, start-ups scale-ups as well as incumbent organisations who are leveraging technology and creativity to facilitate access to cash, improve its acceptance and generally improve the efficiency of the circulation of cash throughout the economy.

Why CashTech?
CashTech means a three-way win for all of consumers, retailers and banks.
Consumers get an additional high-density cash distribution network. Retailers get to offer new services, notably cash withdrawal, with the additional benefits of more cross-selling and foot traffic through the store. For commercial banks, CashTech allows them to expand their network at a minimal cost.

Who are we?
CashTech is a fast-growing group of transnational technology companies, mostly young start- ups, harnessing and variously adapting the technology of CashTech. Also involved is a range of supporting benefactors and professionals in academia, the corporate world, business, banking and non-state actors like charities and non-government organizations. We are small, pragmatic and unideological.

What we do?
The CashTech Forum is first and foremost a platform allowing innovators to showcase their solutions. We also encourage discussion and exchange of best practices amongst start-ups to identify some of the opportunities and hurdles and encourage co-operation.