With the rise of digital payment systems and a search for greater convenience in the retail sphere, many economists, business experts and consumers believe the United States is on its way to becoming a cashless society. Cashless businesses – those that only accept payments made by credit or debit cards or other forms of electronic transfer – have been normalized by new-economy enterprises such as Uber and Amazon that use online platforms for payment. Now, as more brick-and-mortar businesses become cashless, some politicians and advocates for the poor are raising questions about fairness. They say going cashless can discriminate against low-income individuals, the elderly and others. But some restaurants and other businesses say eliminating cash reduces the risk of robbery and provides a service many consumers want. Advocates also say going cashless would assist authorities in controlling money laundering.read full report
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Cash is not accepted at Amazon Go stores such as this one in Seattle; customers pay for all purchases with smartphones. (Stephen Brashear/Getty Images)