It’s still one of the things that many people today find hard to accept, but we are now looking at a future where, perhaps in our lifetime, perhaps in a generation or two, digital or credit card payment processing may be the only way to purchase goods. Cash, or physical money, is slowly, steadily on the way out.
In Canada, for example, the Canadian government has already “retired” the Canadian penny. President Obama in the United States has also expressed interest in discontinuing what is a largely useless and antiquated monetary unit. The need to cover cash purchases to a tenth of a decimal point has lost much of its usefulness in a world where currency purchases usually total a few dollars anyway. The penny made sense in the 19th century, when you could buy a lot more for less than a dollar. It’s merely inconvenient in the 21st.
Perhaps more than that though is that the ease of credit and debit payments has made the use of cash make less and less sense. For one thing, there’s the safety aspect. Carrying large amounts of cash is simply not a good idea. Muggings and theft for cash have dropped significantly in recent years, simply because most people now know better than to carry a lot of cash. Why lose all that money when you can simply pay for it with a debit card instead?
While some may feel uncomfortable with idea of no longer using physical cash to pay for goods, there’s little logical reason to in the 21st century. There’s no denying the emotional or nostalgic attachment of handing over bills and getting goods and services in return, but functionally, it’s not actually the best way handle transactions, especially because of the untraceable, unverifiable nature of a cash purchase.
Today, most of us still carry some cash in our wallet. But how much longer this continues to be normal practice is actually in question. Cash is on the way out but that’s not necessarily a bad thing.
Posted in Payment Processing on Aug 16, 2016