Financial experts must begin every year asking themselves: Could this be the year that we finally transition to a cashless society? The move itself has already begun, with contactless making card payments easier and the reduction of charges for paying on card facilitating these methods. By looking at two major aspects of a cashless society – streamlined point-of-sale purchases and digital payment methods – we can analyze when society may fully become cashless.
Streamlining Points of Sale
The widespread growth of contactless payments – which can now be found on public transport, market stalls – means that the point-of-sale experience has been even more streamlined. Even buskers in the street take card payments now. Amazon Go is an example of changing the way we shop, with the store being without the need for checkouts. You simply choose your products and leave the store, with the amount of your shop being deducted from your account.
The company is now selling this technology so other stores can adapt to it. Many supermarkets have scan-and-go facilities, which allow you to scan as you shop and then bag it up at the end. This may save time and gives customers a feeling of greater control and independence of their shop. It may also evoke the feelings that those involved in cooperatives feel – where they can simply take items and it doesn’t feel as though they are paying for them in the same way as at a traditional store.
Digital Payment Methods
Part of the payment revolution revolves around the different ways in which we can make these purchases. This supersedes online banking such as Monzo and Venmo and moves towards different kinds of e-wallets. Major banks, including Santander, have already utilized digital cryptocurrency Ripple in order to expedite their cross-border payments. The success of which could lead to further implementation of digital currency in other industries.
Payment methods are a selling point, much the same as physical locations use contactless to entice buyers. As a case in point, the types of payment methods available are used as a way for potential online casino customers to choose a casino site to play on, as casino review site Casino Market shows. Customers may be swayed by the range of options or the speed at which these payments can be processed. These could include e-wallets such as Skrill and Neteller as well as Paysafecard and region-specific methods of payment. Countries in Africa have pioneered digital payment technology so much so that more people use them than they do banks in certain areas.
Possible Limitations for Cashless Society
Of course, there are limitations to a fully cashless society. Charities suggest that people may not be as willing to donate without the idea of giving away loose change. Meanwhile, those representing service workers are also concerned that tipping may stop if people stopped paying in cash. However, there are ways in which a cashless society can ensure neither of these ceases to exist. Indeed, restaurantgoers are used to tipping and paying by card and many still leave gratuity even when paying without cash.
Every year brings with it a new commitment to improve on how we pay for products and services, both online and offline. This could be to allow us to pay with a wider range of methods for online purchases or to make the store checkout experience more fluid. Each of these aspects of a cashless society is becoming more accepted by the mainstream, so that eventually we may see a society where cash is relegated to the museums.