Cash is on the decline, and the coronavirus could well hasten its demise. During lockdowns, consumers shifted to online retail and were encouraged not to use cash, to prevent the spread of the virus. Some places, like the US, saw initial spikes in cash withdrawals due to hoarding, but in the first countries to reopen their shops, bars and restaurants, cash volumes haven’t bounced back to pre-Covid levels.
Over the past 12 months Covid-19 has curtailed countless business activities, but not money laundering. The UN estimates some $1.6tn is laundered every year, and authorities say lockdown measures have presented criminals with even greater opportunities...
A number of governments, central banks and even some economists now advocate a switch to all-digital currencies. With the rapid rise of mobile payments, the long-term survival of cash seems precarious.
If the US put tariffs on Chinese goods, the impact would be felt way beyond the borders of both countries. China is the world’s biggest exporter, but it’s also the second biggest importer, with many of those imports coming from other Asian countries.
More and more governments are aiming to phase out cash, ostensibly to curb tax avoidance and criminal activity, while some countries are making leaps and bounds towards a cashless future without a backwards glance.
22 fintech companies around the world are now worth more than $1bn and bankers are becoming worried about these upstarts, especially since new legislation in Europe may force them to share precious customer data with their fintech rivals.
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