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How cashless culture puts the poor at higher risk, from The Economist

calendar iconMar 11, 2020

Earlier this year, The Economist published an article on "how digital financial services can prey upon the poor".

As we have seen, time and time again, obstructing people's ability to use cash can have dire consequences - with concentrated effects on the most vulnerable. India's failed cashless ban which resulted in widespread suffering, acutely affecting the poor and women in particular, is perhaps the most referenced example. In Africa, where mobile payments skyrocketed, there have also been exponential growth on cyber scams, stealing money and data.

"For the most basic deceptions, a thief needs only a phone number."
"Finance and economicsEconomist, Jan 30th 2020

Excerpt from The Economist

"The most obvious way digital financial services harm poor people is by laying them more open to fraud. Research from 2016 cited in a new report by the Consultative Group to Assist the Poor (cgap), a consortium of donors affiliated to the World Bank, found that in the Philippines 83% of people surveyed had been targets of mobile-phone scams, with 17% losing money. In Tanzania, 27% had been targeted and 17% fleeced; in Ghana, 56% and 12%." (The Economist, Jan 2020)

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Last Updated: May 13, 2020

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