Magazine article New Internationalist

Digital Discrimination

Magazine article New Internationalist

Digital Discrimination

Article excerpt

It is now easier than ever to part with your money - especially online. But an increased reliance on modern payment methods is further isolating already vulnerable groups.

'Traditional' arrangements, such as cash, are becoming harder and more expensive to use, according to a study commissioned by the non-profit European Foundation for Financial Inclusion (EUFFI).

Migrants, people on low incomes, the elderly, people with disabilities and others are finding it more difficult to participate fully in modern society, according to the research, which was conducted in Britain, France, Italy, Poland and Sweden. Issues such as personal debt, lack of access, digital illiteracy, limited physical dexterity and the need to remember PIN numbers all contribute to financial exclusion.

A significant amount of people bypass banks altogether, relying heavily on cash. According to a 2011 survey from the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, eight per cent of US households do not have a bank account. …

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