Source: The Wall Street Journal
The push to end hard-currency payments in favor of digital ones keeps hitting speed bumps
Authorities hope digital payment systems will make illicit activities harder to finance, but for many countries, cash still rules.
As credit card use and digital payment systems like Venmo and Android Pay spread, Americans use less and less cash to buy things. Yet the amount of bills and coins in circulation continues to grow: Hard currency as a percentage of U.S. gross domestic product is now at 8.6%, the highest level since the early 1950s, an era long before the widespread use of plastic and smartphones. Europe, Japan, and Australia have similar trends.
The most likely reason for the cash paradox, analysts say: a thriving global underground economy of tax evasion, organized crime and terrorism financing. Digital payments may be faster and more efficient, but cash cloaks transactions in privacy.
In a 2015 report titled “Why Is Cash Still King?” Europe’s police agency, Europol, concluded that “while cash is slowly falling out of favor with consumers, it remains the criminals’ instrument of choice.” Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »