May 14

Cashless Society – Cash no longer king?

It was back in the mid 1970s that we were forced (almost kicking and screaming) to take up a credit card having refused one in the UK in the late 1960s.  However, needing to travel to Tasmania and to pre-book accommodation we were told that cheques in the mail were unacceptable as a deposit but a credit card number via the telephone was acceptable.  In those days it was a Bankcard.

So began our drive to an almost cashless society and an era when the only cheques I write are for my nonogenerian Mother's bills, and I am visiting ATMs less often.  It is interesting then to read of David Sirota's experiences of a year without cash when conducting financial transactions which he recounts in his book "The end of money".

Sirota found that not having any cash only caused a few hiccoughs, some which were embarrassing (trying to buy a train ticket on board a New Jersey train heading for New York), some comical, and some downright mean (not able to buy school lunches and inexpensive items made and served by children).  Interestingly for us travellers, we would agree with his finding that cash was an absolute necessity in developing countries.

The concerns of many people using cash only are the privacy issues and the monitoring of their spending activities, however we have already relinquished so much of our anonymity and financial lives to the banks as well as companies and governments that Sirota  considers the tension between privacy and civil liberties becomes clouded.

Sirota believes we are close to being a cashless society and that if people consider this issue they will be more demanding of the banks and mobile phone services demanding better services and lower fees.  This being the case, when did you last use an ATM?


Speak with your Newcastle financial advisor today.



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