The saying goes that there is ‘no such thing as a free lunch’. When we buy something we are seldom confronted with the costs of making that payment. This MDC seminar seeks to understand those costs, both financial and societal. The financial cost of payments is fiercely debated, since an objective assessment depends on the starting point and the assumptions. In addition, the digital payment sector is famous for making transaction fees and charges opaque and hard to understand. The societal costs include the cost of crime, financial exclusion, privacy, the environmental impact, resilience and more. Again, achieving an objective comparison is hard.

Leading the panel will be Ross MacDiarmid, Mint Directors Conference Executive Officer and former CEO of the Royal Australian Mint, supported by John Winchcombe, Editor of Cash & Payment News.
Prof. Franz Seitz
Professor of Economics, specialising in Monetary Policy and Financial Markets at Weiden Technical University, adviser to the Bundesbank since 2001.
Current Projects:
· A sectoral portfolio model for Germany (together with the Deutsche Bundesbank)
· Costs and benefits of cash and non-cash payment instruments (together with the Deutsche Bundesbank)
· Turning Points in Global Activity (together with the ECB)
· Euro cash demand (together with N. Bartzsch)
Prof. Pasquale Sgro
Chair in Economics, Deakin Business School in Australia.
Prof. Sgro is a theoretical trade economist who teaches international trade and microeconomics and researches international trade, growth theory and labour economics. He is co-editor of the Journal of International Trade and Economic Development, Associate Editor of the Journal of Asia Entrepreneurship and Sustainability and a member of the Scientific Committee, European Economic and Finance Society, amongst other affiliations.

Prof. Sgro writes on a range of topics including, occasionally, the cashless society, tax evasion and the black market. He has contributed articles to The Age in Australia, 'Tap and Go? Sure but cash still has plenty of Lure', and the Sydney Morning Herald, ‘Cashing in the curse of hard bills'. He joins the panel both as an economist and a consumer.
Guillaume Lepecq
Chair at Cash Essentials
· CEO and founder of AGIS Consulting (2000)
· Founder and Chairman of the Future of Cash conference
· Creator, with SICPA, of Cash Essentials (2016)
Ross MacDiarmid
MDC Executive Officer
Ross MacDiarmid was, from 2010-2020, Chief Executive of the Royal Australian Mint (RAM), during which time he transformed the organisation into a high performing commercial enterprise that grew its commercial revenue by 4 times and achieved consolidated business RONA of 30%. The RAM also won multiple domestic and international awards for engineering, safety, export, product, tourism and marketing and doubled visitors.
Ross was also Secretary General of the MDC from 2016-2020 and, following his retirement from RAM, has taken on the position of the newly-created role of Acting Executive Director for the MDC.
John Winchcombe
Editor of Cash & Payment News
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