We’re Getting Closer To Going Cashless, But Will It Ever Be 100%?

More and more stores are going cashless, as in they’re accepting card payments only, but is that how we’ll become as a society soon?

By nowproducerdave on September 12, 2018
(Photo by John Moore/Getty Images)

It’s 2018. We all (mostly) carry some sort of plastic with us. If we don’t, we have a phone that has Venmo, PayPal, or whatever pop-up money-trading apps are popular this month. Starbucks has an app, they’ve had it for years, that allows you to pay. That’s one example. If a store doesn’t offer their own app payment, your phone still probably has the technology to be used at most card-swipe terminals anyway via Apple, Android, or Samsung Pay.

How much cash do you carry with you? Maybe 20 bucks? 40? Nothing at all? I could have sworn I had a dollar in my wallet, but even that’s gone now for some reason. Cash and check used to be the method that was used, at least when I was growing up. Nothing like being at the grocery store with mom, a cart-full of groceries and 5 people in line behind us while the cashier tries to track down a pen so mom can write a check. Those were the days.

Stores are going cash-free. A lot of coffee shops are starting to use iPads as their “cash registers” these days. You swipe your card through the little, fumbly scanning block, smear your name across the screen, and take your cup of coffee-flavored sugar water back to your car. Many of these stores aren’t even accepting cash, at all. There are many reasons for this – like errors in counting out cash at the end of the day for tips, or just to total up. Another reason is that young people aren’t carrying cash with them. They’re connected, and have their cards attached electronically to their phones. All we need is a phone and an ID these days, and we can buy basically anything we want.

But will cash ever actually go away? Of course it won’t, but it may start to become an exclusive method of payment. Like stated above, a lot of small shops aren’t accepting cash at all. Still though, it’s estimated that about 7% of the US population uses cash-only, and don’t have any sort of bank account. Cash rent, cash for groceries, cash only. If society went cash-free, they wouldn’t be able to make any transaction. Also, using cash is great for budgeting – when you actually see the money going away, it’s easier not to spend. And when you have no cash, you can’t buy anything at all.

So again, how much cash do you carry with you? Does it change depending on what you’re doing, or do you keep it as an “emergency reserve?” Is there a tin in your cabinet like many of our grandparents had, or do you just keep a few coins and loose bills in a bowl next to the keys? Do you agree with stores going cash-free, or should a legal tender be accepted anywhere? Check out more info on the cashless theory here.

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