It is no secret that cash transactions in the United States have declined significantly in recent years. More people rely on their digital payment systems to shop and spend, leaving little need for physical money. However, while prioritizing electronic purchases is important, serious drawbacks come with switching to a fully cashless society.
“Will we ever live in a truly cashless world?”—the short answer is likely no, to answer the question. However, with increasing dependency on digital and electronic payments and a decline in paper money use, it is important to explore what that could look like for society, both nationally and internationally.
A lot of debate surrounds what a fully cashless society could look like, but it would certainly include the following forms of digital payment:
- Debit and credit cards
- Mobile wallets
Government entities would no longer produce paper money, and businesses would stop accepting bills and coins. While many would not feel much difference in their daily lives, the economy would shift, and the world would have to adapt to this new way.
Pros of a Cashless Society
Switching to a cashless world would be a positive change for several reasons.
Carrying only digital forms of payment is far more convenient than dealing with cash and coins. More so, completing contactless transactions with your cell phone has completely enhanced how businesses operate and consumers shop.
Using encrypted and anonymous digital payments, including cryptocurrencies, can help decrease money theft and make your transactions more secure. By only spending electronically, our society will minimize stealing and hacking.
Benefits and Rewards
Digital spending has many benefits and reward opportunities that consumers can take advantage of. For example, credit cards allow you to purchase and pay at a more suitable time and can even allow you to earn rewards and cashback! These rewards and features make card payments far more attractive than using cash.
Cons of a Cashless Society
Some downsides and risks of transitioning to a fully cashless society are as follows:
Dependable technology is at the forefront when transitioning to a cashless society. Paying with mobile phones or credit cards requires systems that run on reliable, working equipment. Payment is no longer possible if any of these systems fail.
While digital payments are the norm for many individuals, some people, towns, and countries don’t have that same access. Fully eliminating the use of cash would be unfair to those who depend on using paper money to make transactions.
While people tend to depend on digital forms of payment, businesses need to accept cash. However, prioritizing electronic payments with high-quality technology is a must, considering more than 2.8 billion mobile payment solutions are in use throughout the globe. So, will we ever live in a truly cashless world? Probably not. However, businesses must offer both traditional and alternative transactions to be available and convenient to all.