The Cashless Society Working Party (CSWP) was formed in late 2016 with a number of volunteers. Its research delivers a neutral, analytical assessment of developments to comprehend benefits, risks and issues of a cashless society at global level, in the public interest. It provides insights into specialist economic topics, and identifies opportunities to learn from international experiences, and to adapt public policy. It also provides insights into stakeholder interests that underpin entrenched positions on the transition in progress.

Its first paper “A Cashless Society: Benefits, Risks and Issues” (referred to as the “Interim paper”) formed the basis for a broader body of work on a number of topics and supported contributions towards several public consultations throughout 2018. “A Cashless Society in 2018” continued Its global chronicle and presented the 2018 trends for the topic, followed by a paper discussing the rise of QR codes for payments, a key 2018 trend.

The CSWP started to take interest in the specialist topics of Central Bank Digital Currencies and crypto assets with a first article in The Actuary magazine in December 2018. This set the scene for a focus in these areas throughout 2019, with a specialist paper on the adoption of digital currencies by the life and pension industries. At the end of the first quarter, the paper “Understanding Central Bank Digital Currencies” seemed ominous of tumultuous events to follow in 2019. A later article about the potential of crypto assets for capital markets invited readers to think beyond payments.

Financial inclusion was the second area of focus for the CSWP in 2019. Starting with anecdotal evidence from Africa, the CSWP looked to draw lessons from developing regions for the potential benefit of countries such as the UK where de-cashing has been accelerating, with insidious effects on vulnerable residents. The CSWP has engaged with several events, written to stakeholders and published articles proposing a set of actions to manage the transition towards a less-cash society.






Chair: Ian Collier
Membership: 9
Established: 2016

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If you want more information about this research working party please contact the Communities Team.


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    As the world’s attention begins to turn to COP26 later this year in Glasgow, Sarah Gordon (Chief Executive, Impact Investing Institute) will share her vision for how the financial services industry can deliver for people and the planet, as well as how to encourage more investment with the intention to generate positive, measurable social and environmental impact alongside a financial return.

  • Sub-Saharan Africa Town Hall

    26 February 2021

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    IFoA Immediate Past President John Taylor would like to invite you to the Institute and Faculty of Actuaries’ (IFoA) virtual SSA Town Hall 2021, hosted by John Taylor with IFoA Council Members Mukami Njeru, Prosper Matiashe and IFoA Chief Executive, Stephen Mann.

  • MENAP Town Hall

    2 March 2021

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    IFoA Immediate Past President John Taylor would like to invite you to the Institute and Faculty of Actuaries’ (IFoA) virtual MENAP Town Hall 2021, hosted by John Taylor and IFoA Chief Executive, Stephen Mann.