cashless societies and difficulties in paying with cash

What are the 3 impacts of cashless societies

In a cashless society there are at least 3 negative impacts in not taking cash as a form of payment. None the less, the imergence of cashless societies and paying by card is a modern-day gold rush for fintech companies.  It is interesting how fintech companies address the issue of contactless payment in a pandemic. There is a perception that cash has a health risk. It is less popular than ever to carry cash.  This payment system is a boom for the vast number of worldwide company start-ups including: Stripe, Tax Back, Fexco, Paymentsense,

Cashless Societies by the numbers
Three types of card terminal
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However, the national currency is always legal tender but with the fall  in physical cash, the fact is that retailers don’t have to offer it. Technology is moving so fast that it’s perfectly possible to live in most cities without ever using cash.

Cashless society make cashlessness more prevalent

Many of us are aware that cash is becoming less prevalent. Furhtermore there is evidence from Bloomberg that says that 90% of  all transaction are  cashless in Europe. Additionally in Sweden, the figures stand at about 98.7% . This means Sweden is taking cashlessness to the next level. The Covid 19 pandemic and previous worldwide trends are pushing notes and coins to extinction.

For instance in cashless societies coffee shops and take-outs are everywhere in cities, but how does a homeless person or an undocumented person, an elderly person or teenager pay when they do not have access to a debit card?

Homeless person taking cashless payment – Ref Telegraph

Cashless societies make it difficult for poor people living on the streets to even get a cup of coffee. It appears they are less inclusive when they don’t have a card payment system. They are receiving a not-so-subtle message from certain businesses about who are the “desired clientele”. Even government and local councils are increasingly providing services to those that have debit or credit cards. This results is the convenience of paying fory parking tickets online or other fines.  If you’re unbanked, you will need to make the trip to pay for your ticket in person, taking away valuable time people could use supporting themselves or their family.

a society without cash creates Belonging – this is discriminatory

There are already so many forms of stigma and discrimination within a cashless society, and now, we’re adding the mode of payment to the list — if we start marking belonging by ‘means of payment,’ that will be a big problem and does not provide for societal inclusiveness.  It doesn’t seem fair that I  can’t get a  sandwich or a  coffee because I am not carrying plastic. The strange thing is that it’s completely legal for business owners to reject cash. Consequently they’re making a statement that really should not be encouraged.

In cashless societies, the legislation will need to be written to stop businesses from refusing to accept cash.  This will provide protection against unlawful discrimination. It will be too fragile a system if there is nothing we can go back to in case of disruption.

There are  some solutions. For example, a counter attendant might take the cash and thereafter swipe  with a personal/company card. Alternatively if after waiting in line and not having a card, an attendants should be able to use his disretion to provide service. Should a customer not get service after waiting patiently in line ? It doesnt seem fair, or just, to refuse service because the customer is not carrying a card. Therefore it is better to err on good  customer service and  request  payment the next time they are in. Generally people are trust worthy and will return to pay.

The advantages for a cashless society include some of the following:

For the state, it is beneficial that it can tax when transactions are transparent. 2) Money laundering can be reduced. 

The advantages of going cashless

3) Another  advantage  of  going cashless is cash is  physica. It is easy to lose cash or dameage it . Printing cash is expensive   4) Storing money is costly, namely vaults maintenance, transportation, administration electricity etc.

Disadvantages of cashless-ness

  • It physically means  that it is a safeguard against internet, electricity or phone outage and  even having a faulty card or forgotten pin.
  • Include total inconvenience for certain sectors  of society who are excluded
  • Foreign tourists are also  affected as they incur exchange rates that are exorbitant.

the last bastions of cash – kids’ pocket money

In Swede only 16% of Swedish children get regular allowances in the form of actual bank notes and coins. This is according to a poll taken by Sifo. Most swedish parents now add money to their children’s account by bank transfer.

There is some light in relation to Prepaid

It  seems that card  payments  have not  completely  taken over. Furthermore it  does  seem that  cash  ( with the aid of the correct legislation ) will still be active into the  future. Until then I am sure systems will advance in the  prepaid  debits card arena. One Zero Medium refers to services like Bluebird by American Express, Net Spend  and others  allow for anyone to achieve the benefits of a traditional debit card without the need for a permanent address or a national  security number. There are  almost  16  million people in America  that  do  not  have or  use  bank accounts. Evidence  suggest that 26.7 % population who do not have bank accopunts are using prepaid debit cards of some kind.

It seems that cashlessness taking over is inevitable, but at least in the short term there have been steps taken that allow those that are disenfranchised to still use cash.

Sources

https://www.grubstreet.com/2018/11/cashless-restaurants-cafes-problems.html

https://www.bloomberg.com./news/articles/2020-09-12/sweden-s-cashless-future-reveals-a-whole-world-of-hidden-risks

https://www.cnbc.com/2018/05/03/sweden-cashless-future-sounds-alarm-bells-for-the-central-bank.html

This is a more reliable publication for cash transaction details

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