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Author Topic: [BS File] Towards the Cashless Society  (Read 7464 times)

BuddhaForce

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[BS File] Towards the Cashless Society
« on: June 03, 2015, 04:46:24 PM »
The BS File is an open source intelligence file where forum users can contribute related content to a specific topic. The goal is to build over time, an archive of knowledge on the subject, and to draw connections between people, places, and events that would otherwise may have been unnoticed. Information in the file all links to original, open sources, and readers will have to decide for themselves whether the source or the information is reliable, to come to their own conclusions.



Towards the Cashless Society


Do you remember the old saying, "cash is king?"  Well, not anymore my friends. Yes my fellow chumps, we have been duped our entire lives by this old adage, because with the new advances in technology, cash is a thing of the past. With each and every passing day, whether you noticed or not, we are being bombarded by movements towards a cashless society. Some have been quite overt such as direct deposits from employers, digital currencies, and mobile banking. Others have been more subtle movements from government entities. While some, such as cashless versions of childrens board games, are so innocuous, that you may not even have thought twice about it if you saw it.




But why not rid ourselves of burdensome cash? I mean, everybody already knows that cash is disgusting and carries deadly microbes like MRSA and Anthrax. It is also tainted with super-dangerous illicit narcotics like cocaine. Plus, cash is the reason that the economy keeps crashing, didn't you know? Besides, According to Bill & Melinda Gates, cash is pass?, while mobile banking is "safe and efficient". And they should know a thing or two about money because they are billionaires, so who are we to question them?


[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vOg4s5UccZE[/youtube]


Of course some of us know that despite all the glowing praise our cashless future recieves from the media, bankers, and philanthropic billionaires, there is a darker side to the equation. For one thing, there is something to be said about having a tangible asset, like cash, instead of a bunch of 1's and 0's floating around on a computer somewhere out in the "cloud." It makes it a bit more difficult for things like this, and this to happen, because with something tangible, you can always "stuff it under the matress," whereas a digital currency belongs exclusively in the cloud, or to a bank or government, and there could be little opportunity to remove your currency from the system. Just take a look at who is funding the move away from cash and you might start to get a clearer picture.

More importantly though, are the privacy concerns. Cash is much harder to track and control, and in a world where governments already spy on their citizens, and create dossiers and social networks on individual citizens, creating a complete record of your purchases to track you with doesn't sound very appealing (just for kicks, call your credit card company some time, and see how far back their transaction list for you goes). Don't think that the government would keep track of all your purchases through a digital currency? Well, they already do, whenever you move enough cash into or out of a bank. Which is exactly what the arcana of the cashless society is all about, power and control. It's really quite an old story, and perhaps one day, in the not so distant future you may wake up to find that you can't even purchase a used toaster oven from a garage sale with cash.





Whether you see the move to a cashless society as poitive or not, if you don't think it is happening right now, then consider the following:

- Billionaires Bill & Melinda Gates are developing a huge project to create a new "national digital financial services system" to capture an estimated 2.5 billion people worldwide, not currently using banks. The plan calls for a payment clearing system that would keep a directory of users telephone numbers and National ID numbers. Also the system will have a "Fraud and Risk Management Service (FRMS)" which will keep track of suspicious accounts and transactions, and "possibly about non-fraudulent accounts and transactions as well," which means pretty much everybody could be tracked. Source.

- Coffee growers in Colombia have been issued "Coffee Smart ID Cards" since 2007, in order to be paid for their crops in digital currency. Even though the card was intended to be used for making payments to these rural farmers easier, a report noted that the card was instead mostly used for "the disbursement of various government subsidy schemes, rather than Federaci?n coffee purchases." Source.

- The Government of Bangladesh has signed on to the cashless society paradigm, with plans by 2021 to digitize all forms of subsidy payments to it's citizens, all fees that citizens must pay to the government, and all domestic and international remittances and financial transactions for e-commerce. Source.

- Banks in the UK are closed their branches for a day, but allowed people to still use mobile banking. Many smaller banks in the UK are considering closing their brick and mortar shops in favor of online banking. In some rural areas, a bank on wheels visits communities only once a week, limiting their access to cash.  Source.

-Ex-JPMorgan credit default swap legend Blythe Masters, says that the cashless paradigm will "change the way our financial world operates."  She specifically is talking about Digital Distributed Ledgers, which are essentially the records of every individual transaction in the system. Source.

- The Bank of England has taken a keen interest in digital currencies, specifically one of their features which would allow for digital identity management. Source.

- The Government of Ecuador has its own e-Money system which was established at the end of 2014. Source.

- Economist Martin Armstrong says eliminating cash will have the dire effect of the "elimination of the ability to demand to withdraw funds from a bank."  Why is that important?  Because right now the Swiss National Bank's negative interest rate policy?where depositors are charged for holding their money in a bank?is forcing Swiss pension funds to take their money out of banks and store it in expensive private vaults to avoid losses. Source.



Please feel free to contribute to this open source intelligence file to further the development and understanding of this vital topic.
« Last Edit: June 09, 2015, 09:03:01 AM by Mr.X »
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BuddhaForce

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Re: [BS File] Towards the Cashless Society
« Reply #1 on: June 03, 2015, 04:46:51 PM »
WHO IS FUNDING THE CASHLESS SOCIETY MOVEMENT?




Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
http://www.gatesfoundation.org/
Guided by the belief that every life has equal value, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation works to help all people lead healthy, productive lives. In developing countries, it focuses on improving people?s health with vaccines and other lifesaving tools and giving them the chance to lift themselves out of hunger and extreme poverty. In the United States, it seeks to significantly improve education so that all young people have the opportunity to reach their full potential. Based in Seattle, Washington, the foundation is led by CEO Jeff Raikes and Co-chair William H. Gates Sr., under the direction of Bill and Melinda Gates and Warren Buffett.




Citi
http://www.citigroup.com/
Citi, the leading global bank, has approximately 200 million customer accounts and does business in more than 160 countries and jurisdictions. Citi provides consumers, corporations, governments and institutions with a broad range of financial products and services, including consumer banking and credit, corporate and investment banking, securities brokerage, transaction services, and wealth management.




Ford Foundation
http://www.fordfoundation.org
The Ford Foundation is an independent, nonprofit grant-making organization. For 75 years it has worked with courageous people on the frontlines of social change worldwide, guided by its mission to strengthen democratic values, reduce poverty and injustice, promote international cooperation, and advance human achievement. With headquarters in New York, the foundation has offices in Latin America, Africa, the Middle East, and Asia.




MasterCard
http://www.mastercard.us/
MasterCard is a technology company and payments industry leader. For more than four decades, we have been a driving force at the heart of commerce, making the global economy safer, more efficient, more inclusive and more transparent for all.Consumers, merchants, business partners and governments in markets around the world have reaped the benefits of our innovative products and solutions which, simply put, are designed to make life easier.




Omidyar Network
http://www.omidyar.com/
Omidyar Network is a philanthropic investment firm dedicated to harnessing the power of markets to create opportunity for people to improve their lives. Established in 2004 by eBay founder Pierre Omidyar and his wife Pam, the organization invests in and helps scale innovative organizations to catalyze economic and social change. To date, Omidyar Network has committed more than $450 million to for-profit companies and non-profit organizations that foster economic advancement and encourage individual participation across multiple investment areas, including microfinance, property rights, consumer internet, mobile and government transparency.




United States Agency for International Development (USAID)
http://www.usaid.gov/
The American people, through the U.S. Agency for International Development, have provided economic and humanitarian assistance worldwide for over 50 years.




United Nations Capital Development Fund (UNCDF)
http://www.uncdf.org/
UNCDF is the UN?s capital investment agency for the world?s 48 least developed countries.It creates new opportunities for poor people and their small businesses by increasing access to microfinance and investment capital. UNCDF focuses on Africa and the poorest countries of Asia, with a special commitment to countries emerging from conflict or crisis. It provides seed capital ? grants and loans ? and technical support to help microfinance institutions reach more poor households and small businesses, and local governments finance the capital investments ? water systems, feeder roads, schools, irrigation schemes ? that will improve poor peoples? lives. UNCDF programmes help to empower women, and are designed to catalyze larger capital flows from the private sector, national governments and development partners, for maximum impact toward the Millennium Development Goals.




Visa Inc.
http://www.corporate.visa.com/
Visa is a global payments technology company that connects consumers, businesses, financial institutions and governments in more than 200 countries and territories to fast, secure and reliable electronic payments. We operate one of the world?s most advanced processing networks?VisaNet?that is capable of handling more than 24,000 transaction messages a second, with fraud protection for consumers and guaranteed payment for merchants. Visa is not a bank and does not issue cards, extend credit or set rates and fees for consumers. Visa?s innovations, however, enable its financial institution customers to offer consumers more choices: pay now with debit, ahead of time with prepaid or later with credit products.




Department For International Development (DFID)
https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/department-for-international-development
The Department for International Development (DFID) leads the UK?s work to end extreme poverty. We're ending the need for aid by creating jobs, unlocking the potential of girls and women and helping to save lives when humanitarian emergencies hit. DFID is a ministerial department, supported by 2 agencies and public bodies.




European Union (EU)
http://europa.eu/index_en.htm
The EU is a unique economic and political partnership between 28 European countries that together cover much of the continent. The EU was created in the aftermath of the Second World War. The first steps were to foster economic cooperation: the idea being that countries who trade with one another become economically interdependent and so more likely to avoid conflict. The result was the European Economic Community (EEC), created in 1958, and initially increasing economic cooperation between six countries: Belgium, Germany, France, Italy, Luxembourg and the Netherlands. Since then, a huge single market has been created and continues to develop towards its full potential.




European Commission's Humanitarian aid and Civil Protection department (ECHO)
http://ec.europa.eu/echo/
The European Commission's Humanitarian aid and Civil Protection department (ECHO) aims to save and preserve life, prevent and alleviate human suffering and safeguard the integrity and dignity of populations affected by natural disasters and man-made crises. EU assistance, amounting to one of the world's largest, is enshrined in the Treaty of Lisbon and supported by EU citizens an as expression of European solidarity with any person or people in need. Headquartered in Brussels with a global network of field offices, ECHO ensures rapid and effective delivery of EU relief assistance through its two main instruments: humanitarian aid and civil protection. By bringing together the two under one roof in 2010, the Commission has built up a more robust and effective European mechanism for disaster response both inside and outside the EU. Since November 2014, ECHO operates under the mandate of Mr Christos Stylianides, EU Commissioner for Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Management.




Big Lottery Fund UK
https://www.biglotteryfund.org.uk/
The Big Lottery Fund is responsible for distributing 40 per cent of all funds raised for good causes (about 11 pence of every pound spent on a Lottery ticket) by the National Lottery - around ?670 million last year. Since June 2004 we have awarded over ?8 billion to projects supporting health, education, environment and charitable purposes, from early years intervention to commemorative travel funding for World War Two veterans. Our funding supports the aspirations of people who want to make life better for their communities. We deliver funding throughout the UK, mostly through programmes tailored specifically to the needs of communities in England, Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland as well as some programmes that cover the whole UK.




GSMA
http://www.gsma.com/
The GSMA represents the interests of mobile operators worldwide, uniting nearly 800 operators with more than 250 companies in the broader mobile ecosystem, including handset and device makers, software companies, equipment providers and Internet companies, as well as organisations in adjacent industry sectors. The GSMA also produces industry-leading events such as Mobile World Congress, Mobile World Congress Shanghai and the Mobile 360 Series conferences.




Cash Learning Partnership (CaLP)
http://www.cashlearning.org/english/home
The Cash Learning Partnership (CaLP) originated from the will to gather lessons learnt from the emergency response to the Indian Ocean Tsunami in 2005. The CaLP began as a shared initiative between Oxfam GB, Save the Children and the British Red Cross.  In 2010, the CaLP steering committee was expanded to include Action Against Hunger / ACF International and the Norwegian Refugee Council and in early 2015, the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent took over from British Red Cross as representative of the wider Red Cross / Red Crescent movement. Today, CaLP is composed of five steering committee organisations: Oxfam GB, the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, Save the Children, the Norwegian Refugee Council and Action Against Hunger / ACF International. These five organisations came together to support capacity building, advocacy, research and information sharing as a way to promote cash transfer programming as an effective tool to deliver aid in times of crisis. In 2010, the CaLP partnered with the International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent societies (IFRC) to develop and implement new activities for 2011 with support from ECHO.




Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development (DFATD)
http://www.international.gc.ca/index.aspx
DFATD (Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development) is Canada's lead agency for development assistance.




Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC)
https://www.eda.admin.ch/sdc
The Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) is Switzerland's international cooperation agency within the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs (FDFA). In operating with other federal offices concerned, SDC is responsible for the overall coordination of development activities and cooperation with Eastern Europe, as well as for the humanitarian aid delivered by the Swiss Confederation.




Australian Aid
http://dfat.gov.au/aid/Pages/australias-aid-program.aspx
This program is run through the Australian Government's Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT).
« Last Edit: June 09, 2015, 10:02:25 AM by Mr.X »
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BuddhaForce

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Re: [BS File] Towards the Cashless Society
« Reply #2 on: June 03, 2015, 05:31:46 PM »
The Level One Project

It is financed by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, surprise, surprise. When talking about how this cashless, digital financial super-structure will be welded together, this document looks like it could be interesting. The subtitle itself is extremely provacative:
?Designing a New System for Financial Inclusion?

They are going to target the poor first, those who live on less than $2 per day, by constructing a new financial system based on digital currency, because these poor folks don?t have the pleasure currently of depositing the fruits of their labor into the financial black holes we call banks.

It calls for things like:
* ?The Digital Payments System Organization,? a governing entity that will rule over the new financial paradigm.

* A payment clearing and settlement institution (think SWIFT/CHIPS) called the IST (Interoperability Service for Transfers), that would do other innocuous things like (emphasis added,) ?[operate] a directory that recognizes telephone numbers (and probably national ID numbers) as 'belonging' to a given DFS provider participant, allowing the switch to operate and reach all participants.?

- Run a watchdog group called the ?Fraud and Risk Management Service (FRMS),? that will run a giant database where all participating countries contribute customer data on (emphasis added) ?fraudulent accounts and transactions (and possibly about non-fraudulent accounts and transactions as well).? So pretty much everybody?This data will allow them to fight fraud and abuse in the system and, oddly enough, also be used for ?[screening] new account applicants and individual transactions.?

Check it out for yourself here - https://leveloneproject.org/the-guide/
« Last Edit: June 03, 2015, 05:33:58 PM by Mr.X »
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BuddhaForce

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Re: [BS File] Towards the Cashless Society
« Reply #3 on: June 03, 2015, 05:33:37 PM »
Colombian Coffee Growers Gone Cashless
http://betterthancash.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/01/Colombia-Cafeteros-Case-Study-Long-ENG-Jan-2015.pdf

Roughly 410,000 small coffee farmers in Colombia, belonging to the ?Colombian Coffee Growers Federation? (or Federaci?n,) were issued ?Coffee Smart ID Cards? between 2007 and 2013. These personalized cards, fitted with a magstripe and chip, were issued by a bank for use with payments for coffee and government benefits. Here are some of the noted results, and perhaps some insights into how a cashless society will be sold to the public:

1. ?there is little question of the approach?s cost efficiency for the
Federaci?n: It was able to reduce costs over the period by up to 79%
relative to cash, saving $15.5 million.?

2. ?allowed the disbursement of subsidies to be better targeted, increasing efficiency, transparency, speed, and security?

* Interesting note here from the paper which is very revealing of how this paradigm could be backdoored in, (emphasis added): ?Second, the card was used in unexpected ways: Most of the receipts were tied to the disbursement of various government subsidy schemes, rather than Federaci?n coffee purchases.?

3. ?The card will now be a full savings account at the bank with access to all ATM and POS devices in the country, making the card an on-ramp to financial inclusion.?
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BuddhaForce

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Re: [BS File] Towards the Cashless Society
« Reply #4 on: June 03, 2015, 05:48:41 PM »
GSMA supporting cashless society

GSMA, a group which claims to represent the interests of mobile operators worldwide, including "nearly 800 operators with more than 250 companies in the broader mobile ecosystem, including handset and device makers, software companies, equipment providers and Internet companies, as well as organisations in adjacent industry sectors," is supporting the cashless movement according to an article by Mia Overall of the Better Than Cash Alliance.

Better Than Cash Alliance is one of the main groups, housed by the UN, who is pushing towards a cashless world.
« Last Edit: June 03, 2015, 06:16:10 PM by Mr.X »
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BuddhaForce

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Re: [BS File] Towards the Cashless Society
« Reply #5 on: June 03, 2015, 06:09:45 PM »
The Bangladesh Government has signed on to going cashless.
http://betterthancash.org/news-releases/making-digital-bangladesh-vision-2021-a-reality-government-joins-the-better-than-cash-alliance/

?The Government plans to digitize all forms of social safety payments to citizens, and all forms of fees that citizens make to the government for services. In addition, it will enable the digitization of domestic and international remittances and financial transactions for e-commerce.?

Its all part of the ?Digital Bangladesh Vision 2021″ program, which is available here if you are into falling asleep.
http://bangladesh.gov.bd/sites/default/files/files/bangladesh.gov.bd/page/6dca6a2a_9857_4656_bce6_139584b7f160/Perspective-Plan-of-Bangladesh.pdf

So wheres the money coming from?
United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) & USAID.
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BuddhaForce

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Re: [BS File] Towards the Cashless Society
« Reply #6 on: June 04, 2015, 01:22:45 AM »
Banks in the UK Close, Push for Online Banking

Yes indeed, most of the UK's banks closed for a day but don't worry, you can still use mobile banking to move your 1's and 0's around...hope you don't need any cash though.

And if you live in the rural areas, well you can only get hard cash once a week now...seeing is believing:

[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i-Ai1QhCtQA[/youtube]
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BuddhaForce

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Re: [BS File] Towards the Cashless Society
« Reply #7 on: June 06, 2015, 04:29:52 PM »
Most Powerful Woman on Wall Street on Digital Currency Revolution

[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PZ6WR2R1MnM[/youtube]



Ex-JPMorgan credit default swap queen, Blythe Masters, talks about digital distributed ledgers. From what I can gather this is the digital record of all your transactions within the system. Here are a few quote-worthy passages:

"Economic transactions on a digital ledger can be programmed to record virtually anything of value."

"How seriously should you take this? I would take it about as seriously as you should have taken the concept of the Internet in the early 1990's. It's a big deal. And it is going to change the way our financial world operates."
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BuddhaForce

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Re: [BS File] Towards the Cashless Society
« Reply #8 on: June 06, 2015, 04:52:45 PM »
BoE's 2015 Research Agenda: One aspect of Bitcoin they find quite appealing...
http://www.bankofengland.co.uk/research/Documents/onebank/discussion.pdf

The Bank of England's Research Agenda for 2015 came out a few months ago, and if you flip to page #31, they talk about digital currencies. A particular feature of Bitcoin seems to have piqued the interest these central bankers. What is it? The Digital Distributed Ledger. The record, database, or whatever you want to call it that stores all of the transactions made inside the digital system.

Hmmm, you might say while stroking your chin, why would some bankers be interested in this? This quote from the paper might be revealing: "Further research would also be required into how digital identity management could be achieved (Brown (2014)) while balancing privacy considerations." [emphasis added]
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BuddhaForce

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Re: [BS File] Towards the Cashless Society
« Reply #9 on: June 06, 2015, 05:12:10 PM »
Ecuador created its own digital currency at the end of 2014.
http://cointelegraph.com/news/113208/ecuador-officially-launches-its-own-e-money-system

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BuddhaForce

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Re: [BS File] Towards the Cashless Society
« Reply #10 on: June 06, 2015, 05:24:51 PM »
War on Cash
http://cointelegraph.com/news/114476/cash-is-going-extinct-unless-you-pay-to-protect-it

This is an interesting article on how negative interest rate policy (NIRP) is killing cash, how Swiss pension funds are saving money by pulling their cash out of banks and storing them in vaults, and how ending cash removes the ability of depositors to remove their money from the system.
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BuddhaForce

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Re: [BS File] Towards the Cashless Society
« Reply #11 on: June 09, 2015, 09:46:19 AM »
The Cash Learning Partnership (CaLP)
http://www.cashlearning.org/english/home

This organization, which is directed in part by the Red Cross/Red Crescent Societies, seeks to implement "Cash Transfer Programming (CTP)" in any and all disaster areas as a means of humanitarian relief. Basically the idea here is to just that instead of sending "in-kind" supplies (like water, blankets, food, etc.,) that sending cash or vouchers is more effective, and in the words of the Red Cross, "risks of abuse are no greater than for other forms of commodity response."
https://www.ifrc.org/Global/Publications/disasters/guidelines/guidelines-cash-en.pdf (pg. 12)

However, given recent news stories on the phenomenal work of the Red Cross in Haiti, one could be forgiven for thinking otherwise.
https://www.propublica.org/article/how-the-red-cross-raised-half-a-billion-dollars-for-haiti-and-built-6-homes

But what does all this have to do with the Cashless Society? After all this group just wants to send cash to these poor destitute people instead of goods, aren't they just promoting the use of cash?

Meet the Electronic Cash Transfer Learning Action Network (elan)
http://www.cashlearning.org/new-technologies/elan

The electronic cash transfer learning action network (elan) aims to improve how electronic cash and electronic vouchers are used to assist survivors of natural disasters and conflict. It brings humanitarian organizations and the private sector together in partnership to improve e-transfer programs.

Yeah but is this really being pushed by CaLP and humanitarian agencies like the Red Cross? Yes, and if not, then the plan is to use them as a vehicle:

The elan builds upon pioneering work on e-transfers by the Cash Learning Partnership (CaLP), NetHope and other implementing agencies. It will leverage CaLP?s communications platforms to disseminate information and learning.


WHO FUNDS elan?
MasterCard Center for Inclusive Growth

WHO FUNDS CaLP?
ECHO (EU Humanitarian Fund), USAID, Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development (Canadian USAID), Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC), and Australian Aid (Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade).
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BuddhaForce

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Re: [BS File] Towards the Cashless Society
« Reply #12 on: June 12, 2015, 07:01:46 PM »
Mondato LLC
http://mondato.com

Quote
Established in 2008, Mondato LLC is a boutique consultancy specializing in commercial and operational support for mobile financial services.  Born from years of experience in the telecommunications, technology and financial sectors, Mondato works exclusively in mobile financial services (MFS) as we understand the industry needs and have designed our products to address them.

Our custom offerings target both public and private sector actors, including mobile operators, service providers and companies interested in implementing or investing in MFS.  As such, we calibrate company structures and offerings and open up new markets to take full advantage of mobile and financial opportunities.

With a cadre of highly trained MFS experts and a global network of industry contacts, Mondato has developed the depth of experience necessary to execute high-stakes projects in MFS and adjacent spheres.
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BuddhaForce

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Re: [BS File] Towards the Cashless Society
« Reply #13 on: June 12, 2015, 07:16:47 PM »
Highlights from the Mandato Summit Africa 2015
http://www.mondatosummit.com/blog/2015/6/2/mondato-summit-2015-day-one-roundup

I thought these snippets were pretty interesting, talking about how profitable a cashless currency will be for those moving and lending money:

Quote
Mr. Van Thielen highlighted the trend towards alternative value transfers for micro-remittances, including but not limited to airtime, which now makes up 20% of remittance transfers. The digitization of vouchers and alternative value means that small transactions of $5-$10 were now economically viable for a range of players, including Western Union, TransferGram, Azimos and Xoom.

Quote
afb are individualizing loan limits (which are profitable right down to a US$0.30 -- yes, 30 cents! -- loan), fees and terms.

Woohoo they will now be able to make profit on loans as low as $0.30! Great news for everyone, I'm sure.

This snippet was also pretty interesting:

Quote
remote control and sensing can be applied to improve financing risk for devices and behaviour [sic] discounts by insurers

Remember this group is talking about mobile money (MM) and digital cash/financing. I wonder what "remote control" and "sensing" mean in regards to your "devices" in the future cashless financial paradigm? Also, chew on "behavior discounts," because we swear it has nothing to do with social control...
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