The term "A Cashless Society" refers to two types of societies. The first case may refer to a society that operates by barter trade as the sole means of payment whereas the second case may refer to a society in which plastic money or any other technology that supports virtual transfer of money are the sole modes of payment. In this particular article I am referring to the second case.
Business activities have been in existence since creation. One nature about business, is that for any product given up, something needs to be given in return. In short, business only becomes business when payment is assured.
Ages ago, businesses were conducted by barter trade which later paved the way for monetary systems. In the recent years, there has been a surge in the use of plastic money despite resistance from various groups. The world has never made an abrupt uniform change in systems of currency; rather, the change has always been slow and has to start from a particular region before spreading to the ends of the world.
The truth is that the world is in a transitional period; from a paper money based society to a cashless society. In the United States of America 93% of their transactions are cashless. The remaining 7% mainly comprises transactions involving meager sums. Norway is even further ahead, with 97% of its transactions being cashless. Presently, 15% of the world's transaction have been cashless.
of the merits and demerits associated with such a society.
The following are some of the merits associated with a cashless society.
• We will have a cleaner society. Phasing out paper money will ultimately result in a cleaner society because it transmits more germs than plastic money. The use of plastic money will hence result in a much cleaner society.
• Improved security. Robbers prefer stealing paper money to plastic money because of the tight security measures provided for by plastic money. This means that in a cashless society there will be fewer cases of bank robberies and even the streets will be safer from money-snatching thugs.
• Easier business transactions. Plastic money will hasten business transactions, in that people will no longer have to worry about carrying cash for them to carry out their business activities. In a cashless society, a card is all that will be required. For transactions via the internet or phones, submission of the required financial information is that is required and this consequently eases business transactions.
The following are some of the demerits associated with a cashless society.
• When using cards, the owner is required to give a valid pin number for them to gain access to their account.
This feature may turn out to be a disadvantage in cases where the real owner of the card forgets his/her pin number. This will mean that they will not able to get access their accounts, at least, after the bank addresses their issue.
• Credit cards make it easy for people to accumulate credit. This may be a good thing but for those who will be unable to clear their balance by the required time they will be charged high interest rates. This will consequently damage their credit record and may hamper future efforts to borrow.
• There will be no privacy. This is probably the chief disadvantage associated with a cashless society. There will be a record for every transaction and this means that financial institutions will have vital personal information on their consumers, which people fear could be used for ill gains.
• Computer hackers can also hack into people's accounts and withdraw funds. This means that it is possible for people to suffer huge losses simply because others are siphoning money from their accounts.
• Printing of paper money is usually an expensive affair. In a cashless society, governments will be able to use the money that would otherwise be used to print cash on other purposes. This will enable governments to save billions of money.