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FG senator calls for more “cashless society,” digital ID

A Fine Gael senator has called to make Ireland’s increasingly “cashless society” more “efficient,” calling for more digital banking, IDs, and Covid certs.

The remarks were made yesterday by Senator John McGahon during a seanad debate on the Order of Business.


“Today I would like to talk about the further digitisation of Irish society,” McGahon said.

“Particularly in the past year and half, owing to Covid, society has become more cashless than ever before. For example, I do not even carry a wallet anymore. I have my ATM on my card. I rarely carry cash any more and it is the same for many people across the board.”

McGahon said that the key was to make the digitisation of Irish society “more efficient.”


“First of all, when people have ATM cards on their mobile phones they should be able to withdraw money if they need it from an ATM cashpoint using their phones,” he said.

“They are not able to do that unless they have a hard copy card. This is something that would aid the digitisation of Irish society more.


“The second point relates to IDs and we see it with Covid certificates. In order to enter any place, whether it is a pub or restaurant, one needs to have a Covid certificate accompanied by ID to prove who one is. Again, since so few people are carrying wallets any more, very few people keep physical ID on them, unless it is a driver’s licence in their car and so on.”

He concluded: “The point is we should also look at introducing variable IDs on people’s mobile phones so they can rock along and will be able to show straight up drivers’ licence or passport in a digitised version that is accepted across the board.

“To be fair, I would not expect to go somewhere and be allowed to show a photo of my passport or my ID.”

The senator added that if venues were willing to accept IDs as hard copies, they should be willing to accept “soft copies” as well.

“The Government should be able to introduce something that it has labelled and agreed and can be used right across the mark,” he said.

“The same thing should be done with ATM cards where physical money can be withdrawn from an ATM bank machine with a mobile phone.”



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