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每日英語跟讀 Ep.974: Who Gets Hurt When the World Stops Using Cash 疫情期間零接觸停用現金 衝擊弱勢

· 每日跟讀單元 Daily English

每日英語跟讀 Ep.977: Who Gets Hurt When the World Stops Using Cash

Cash doesn’t have the status it used to.

現金的地位不比從前了。

In fact, some state and local governments are forcing businesses like restaurants and retail shops to continue accepting cash — concerned that cashless businesses effectively discriminate against consumers who do not have bank accounts or credit cards.

事實上,一些州跟地方政府正強制餐廳與零售店等商家繼續收受現金,擔心不收現金形同歧視沒有銀行帳戶或信用卡的消費者。

Concerns about a decline in the acceptance of cash surfaced well before the coronavirus arrived, as consumers grew more comfortable shopping online with credit or debit cards and paying quickly with mobile apps. Many businesses like electronic payments because they speed up purchases and reduce concern about theft.

早在新冠疫情出現前,對現金接受度下滑的憂慮即已浮現,因為消費者更習於在網路上用信用卡或簽帳卡購物,並用手機應用程式快速付帳。許多商家喜歡電子支付,因它加快購買速度且減少對盜竊的擔憂。

Then, during the pandemic, restaurants and stores emphasized online ordering and digital payment to reduce interactions — and the risk of infection — among customers and employees. And as consumers stayed home, coin shortages occurred, making it difficult for some stores to give change. That added to a preference for electronic payments.

後來在疫情大流行期間,餐廳與商店重視線上訂購與數位支付,以減少顧客與員工間的互動與感染風險。隨著消費者待在家中,硬幣短缺了,一些商店很難找零。這增高了對於電子支付的偏好。

“The concern has been heightened as a result of the pandemic,” said Susan Grant, director of consumer protection and privacy at the Consumer Federation of America, a nonprofit advocacy group.

非營利倡議組織美國消費者協會的消費者保護與隱私業務負責人蘇珊·葛蘭特說:「這場大疫情加深了人們的憂慮。」

But as digital payments become more widespread, “we’re concerned that people aren’t going to be able to pay for necessities,” said Linda Sherry, director of national priorities at Consumer Action, an advocacy group.

倡議組織消費者行動的國家優先事務負責人琳達·雪莉表示,隨著數位支付日益普及,「我們擔心人們將無法付現購買生活必需品。」

Businesses that refuse cash put at a disadvantage people who lack traditional bank accounts or can’t qualify for credit cards, consumer advocates say. About one-fourth of American adults were unbanked or underbanked in 2019 — meaning they did not have a bank account or had one but also used alternatives like check-cashing services, the Federal Reserve found. Those consumers are more likely to be in a racial or ethnic minority group, have lower incomes and be less educated.

消費者權益保護人士表示,拒收現金的商家讓沒有傳統銀行帳戶或不夠資格申請信用卡者陷入不利的處境。美國聯邦準備理事會發現,在2019年,約有四分之一美國成年人沒有銀行帳戶或屬次級銀行用戶,這意味他們沒有銀行帳戶或是雖有帳戶,但使用的卻是支票兌現等非主流服務。這些消費者有較高可能屬於少數種族或族裔,收入和教育程度較低。

Some may like cash because it helps them budget their money or teach their children about spending. Others may be wary of a loss of privacy and vulnerability to hacking with electronic payments, or simply prefer cash, Grant said. “The decision should be the consumer’s.”

有些人喜歡現金是因為它能幫他們規劃預算或教孩子如何花錢。葛蘭特說,另有些人可能因擔心失去隱私及電子支付容易被駭,或者就只是喜歡現金。「這應交由消費者決定。」

The federation and dozens of other advocacy and privacy rights groups are backing federal legislation that would prohibit brick-and-mortar retailers from refusing to accept cash.

美國消費者協會跟其他數十個倡議與隱私權保護組織,支持由聯邦立法禁止實體零售業者拒收現金。

Consumers still use cash for more than one-quarter of all payments, according to Federal Reserve data from October, its latest comprehensive study of payment behavior.

根據聯邦準備理事會去年10月的最後一次支付行為綜合調查,消費者在所有付款中使用現金比例超過四分之一。

Source article: https://paper.udn.com/udnpaper/POH0067/358168/web/

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