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Charities, buskers and beggars aren’t feeling so festive in our cashless society. While retailers and online merchants have benefited from cashless payment options, donation-seekers are left rattling an empty cup.

Cheques and bank cards have been around for decades, but financial technology (fintech) innovations have increased exponentially in recent years. From tap-and-go card readers at retail sites and e-banking apps on smart phones, to peer-to-peer payment apps such as Venmo and PayPal that allow one-touch cashless money transfers, it’s a digital consumer world.

COVID-19 has further fuelled the cashless revolution. In the early days of the pandemic, the World Health Organization had to deny reports that cash was spreading the coronavirus, but advised people to wash their hands after touching real money. Digital finance and fintech apps saw a 24-32% boost in daily download rates as the pandemic surged.

You can read the article, written by Spencer M. Ross and Sommer Kapitan for The Conversation here.