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Waarom Europa nog steeds contant geld nodig heft

FRANKFURT – Betalingssystemen in Europa staan roerige tijden te wachten. Als gevolg van de digitale revolutie, die steeds snellere en gemakkelijker manieren voor het afwikkelen van transacties biedt, lijkt contant geld in de ogen van sommigen geen toekomst meer te hebben. Maar het zou een vergissing zijn om de rol van bankbiljetten en munten in de economie af te schrijven.

Niet-contante betalingsmogelijkheden hebben de laatste jaren een grote vlucht genomen. Creditcards, overschrijvingen via internet en automatische incasso-betalingen (domiciliëringen) zijn heel normaal geworden. Nu winnen ook digitale betalingen via de smartphone en mobiele portemonnees terrein. De opkomst van mogelijk verstorende innovaties zoals "distributed ledger"-technologieën geven aan dat verdere en mogelijk fundamentele veranderingen in het verschiet liggen.

Onafhankelijk van deze nieuwe en nog in een vroeg stadium verkerende mogelijkheden, is er een aantal onderzoeken die ervoor pleiten contant geld af te schaffen. De voorstanders van een maatschappij zonder contant geld zijn in drie duidelijk verschillende groepen in te delen.

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