Lots of talk lately about stores going completely cashless, and wondering where you stand on this? Are you a big cash and coin lover like me, or do you say good riddance to it all?!
Here are some of the major pros and cons that are making businesses think twice:
Pros to abolishing cash:
- It’s more convenient for everyone
- It’s faster to process transactions (1-2 seconds vs 6-7 using cash (or 6-7 minutes using check – hah!)
- It’s safer, so long as it doesn’t get hacked
- It supposedly lowers crime and theft as there’s no tangible money to steal
But the CONS?
- You don’t have squat if technology breaks (you need electricity at all times, an open communication network at all times, and most importantly – security at all times)
- People can steal your info and money just the same electronically as they can physically (and much more of it in one swoop!)
- Not everyone uses or has access to credit cards/apps/bank accounts, particularly the underserved
- And then perhaps the biggest issue of all for us finance people – most people tend to SPEND MORE using plastic/apps than cold hard cash! Great for the economy, not so much the average person!
My friend Joe recently summed it up nicely on that last one:
We live in WA State. I recently heard on the radio that our local stadium is going cashless! This got me thinking about how our society is clandestinely separating us from our hard-earned money. At what, like $10 or $12 for a beer, a lack of physical cash leaving your wallet can be a scary thing! And not actually having empty pockets to indicate you’re cut off, no more beer?? Just whip out that card! Scary.
Yup – it is scary.
Now obviously most people are ALREADY using their cards and apps and such this way so it won’t be much different for them if stores go through with this, but there’s still a slew of people who prefer (and budget) using a cash system – not to mention all the wee little kids who learn about money using coins and dollars and such! Sure they can still learn through modern technology, but there’s still something to be said about holding (and smelling!) cold hard cash.
Shouldn’t we at least have THE OPTION to continue using it if we want?
My curmudgeonly two cents on it, anyways…
How do you feel about this coming trend? Have you already stopped using cash? Have you shopped at any of these stores doing this already, like the physical Amazon ones?
I don’t think I’ll have any real say in what businesses choose to do or not do over time, but my hope is that whatever route they go they at least think hard about the inclusiveness of it all. Most of us will cope just fine as it’s mainly a personal preference, but there’s a whole slew of others out there who don’t have a choice in the matter.
Here’s just a few of the top articles that come up when you Google the side effects of this:
- A cashless society is dangerously disruptive for the poor, elderly, and homeless – Quartz
- How the Cashless Economy Shuts Out the Poor – NY Times
- Millions would be put at risk in a cashless society, research warns – CNBC
How fortunate are we that we don’t even have to worry about this!
Cool pic up top by @thefreak1337