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War on Cash Reaches the UK, Underscores Need for Digital Cash

Visa is planning on subsidizing UK businesses to stop accepting cash entirely, emphasizing the need for a digital alternative.

The large payment processor is reportedly offering substantial incentives to businesses to go cashless, including free upgrades and plain subsidies. The goal is to get businesses to operate exclusively with electronic forms of payment such as cards, Apple Pay, etc. Visa will also reportedly soon test out this “cashless challenge” in the US, offering select businesses $10,000 to go cashless.

The war on cash is not going smoothly

Elsewhere in the world, the war on cash is not rolling out without conflict. India’s controversial demonetization efforts have not been as successful as planned. Telangana, the first cashless village in India, has reportedly gone back to cash payments. This was reportedly due to issues surrounding the use and expense of card readers, as few residents could figure out how to properly work them, and even fewer could afford their purchase. Cash, on the other hand, requires only simple counting to use effectively.

The transition away from cash can have human consequences as well. In Sweden, an old woman lost her life savings after attempting to exchange stored cash for newly-issued notes. This was due to her inability to provide proper accounting for her cash savings, which is required as an anti-criminal activity measure. The woman passed away since then, possibly hastened by the financial stress of the situation.

Dash taking digital cash to the front, not back, of the payments world

Cash is being pushed towards obsolescence by more modern payment system, however it still maintains key advantages such as privacy, ease of use, permanent settlement, and lack of necessary third party except for its issuing central bank. Dash offers the cash-like experience of private, instant, and permanently settled transactions without requiring the trust of a third party. H...

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