Will Italy’s Push For A Cashless Society Change Its Economy Forever?

The coronavirus pandemic has left Italy’s economy in a bad state, with the latest predictions foreseeing a -9% in GDP in 2020. At the same time, the online economy has limited the fall, leading to a +15% in the use of contactless payments and +80% of mobile payments compared to 2019. For the first time, Italy’s historic resistance to electronic transactions might be at a turning point. This is one of the reasons behind the country’s government decision to draft a plan in the direction of a ‘cashless society’, which is also meant to counter undeclared economic activity and tax evasion – a phenomenon that in Italy is worth 12% of the country’s GDP.

Even before the pandemic, Italy was not in good shape: it is at the 24th place out of 27 countries in the EU for number of

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Italy’s government showed the world how to take responsibility in a pandemic

If there ever was an unlikely country to be designated a model of collective civility, that’s Italy. My native land is usually depicted as a beautiful place whose abundance of natural and cultural treasures is entrusted, alas, to its disorganised, corrupt, unruly inhabitants.



a person driving a car: Photograph: Flavio Lo Scalzo/Reuters


© Provided by The Guardian
Photograph: Flavio Lo Scalzo/Reuters

And yet everybody these days seems to be lavishing praise on us: the New York Times, the Financial Times, the Wall Street Journal are all describing as exemplary the way in which we Italians have clawed ourselves out of the tragic pit we were in this spring, as coronavirus raged and convoys of military trucks had to be deployed to carry the coffins – they were so many.

We’ve certainly come a long way from being described, as we were at the pandemic’s start, as the usual irresponsible incompetents for allowing such a disaster to happen, or

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Italy’s government showed the world how to take responsibility in a pandemic | Italy

If there ever was an unlikely country to be designated a model of collective civility, that’s Italy. My native land is usually depicted as a beautiful place whose abundance of natural and cultural treasures is entrusted, alas, to its disorganised, corrupt, unruly inhabitants.

And yet everybody these days seems to be lavishing praise on us: the New York Times, the Financial Times, the Wall Street Journal are all describing as exemplary the way in which we Italians have clawed ourselves out of the tragic pit we were in this spring, as coronavirus raged and convoys of military trucks had to be deployed to carry the coffins – they were so many.

We’ve certainly come a long way from being described, as we were at the pandemic’s start, as the usual irresponsible incompetents for allowing such a disaster to happen, or for sentencing to death an already terminally ill economy

Read More