Most people think of a cashless society as something that is way off in the distant future. Unfortunately, that is simply not the case. The truth is that a cashless society is much closer than most people would ever dare to imagine. To a large degree, the transition to a cashless society is being done voluntarily. Today, only 7 percentof all transactions in the United States are done with cash, and most of those transactions involve very small amounts of money. Just think about it for a moment. Where do you still use cash these days? If you buy a burger or if you purchase something at a flea market you will still use cash, but for any mid-size or large transaction the vast majority of people out there will use another form of payment. Our financial system is dramatically changing, and cash is rapidly becoming a thing of the past. We live in a digital world, and national governments and big banks are both encouraging the move away from paper currency and coins. But what would a cashless society mean for our future? Are there any dangers to such a system?
Those are very important questions, but most of the time both sides of the issue are not presented in a balanced way in the mainstream media. Instead, most mainstream news articles tend to trash cash and talk about how wonderful digital currency is.
For example, a recent CBS News article declared that soon we may not need “that raggedy dollar bill” any longer and that the “greenback may soon be a goner”….
It’s what the wallet was invented for, to carry cash. After all, there was a time when we needed cash everywhere we went, from filling stations to pay phones. Even the tooth fairy dealt only in cash.
But money isn’t just physical anymore. It’s not only the pennies in your piggy bank, or that raggedy dollar bill.
Money is also digital – it’s zeros and ones stored in a computer, prompting some economists to predict the old-fashioned greenback may soon be a goner.
“There will be a time – I don’t know when, I can’t give you a date – when physical money is just going to cease to exist,” said economist Robert Reich.
So will we see a completely cashless society in the near future?
Of course not. It would be wildly unpopular for the governments of the world to force such a system upon us all at once.
Instead, the big banks and the governments of the industrialized world are doing all they can to get us to voluntarily transition to such a system. Once 98 or 99 percent of all transactions do not involve cash, eliminating the remaining 1 or 2 percent will only seem natural.