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Cash and its absence

July 21, 2017

Visa is offering small businesses cash incentives to go cashless. For both businesses and individuals, there is a complexity in having to manage both cash and digital payment systems. Needless to say, Visa wants there to be only one. There is a political as well as business effort toward cashless societies. India has eliminated its larger denomination notes. Not without significant resistance and pain.

The problem with cashless transactions is that they require some financial intermediaries who want a cut. Except from those of us with good credit scores, who get a rebate. The card companies years back realized they could make quite a bit of money from prepaid debit cards (2012 article) needed by those who don’t have credit or bank services, to pay merchants who don’t take cash. And for the poorest? The homeless? I guess we’ll just outlaw them.

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