General Partner of Mouro Capital Comments on Age Uk’s Call for Cash to Become a Universal Service Obligation

  • Payments
  • 01.07.2021 06:25 pm

A comment from Manuel Silva Martinez, General Partner of Mouro Capital on Age UK’s call for cash to become a Universal Service Obligation:

“As our society becomes increasingly cashless, many advocacy groups have raised concerns about the inclusion of vulnerable groups in the digital economy. While these concerns are warranted, many advocacy groups are proposing non-solutions that don't address the underlying issues. 

“In response to Age UK’s call for cash to become a Universal Service Obligation, we should ask ourselves - is maintaining the current status quo by keeping cash around longer really the best we can do? Cash is inefficient, expensive to manage, hard to track by both private and public agents (and thus prone to scams), and requires an individual to travel to wherever their payment needs to be made. Most importantly, one should wonder whether proposing such short-sighted alternatives is a way to mask the real problem: that the increased digitization of the economy and of people's habits is creating a "digital divide" between the technologically savvy and vulnerable groups. This requires appropriate policy so that everyone can benefit from the new possibilities of the digital world”.

“It’s true that not enough is being done to include everyone in the digital economy, but our solution to that should not be to retain cash so we don’t need to bother with digital inclusion. If we’re going to ‘Build back better’, it’s time for everyone to take a longer-term view.” 

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