Are You Ready?

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The other night a group of my friends and I went out to dinner. After taking full advantage of the 2-1 pizza & beverage deal, we figured it was time to head home. We asked for the check, and all proceeded to pay. Each and every one of us used a card, not one person had cash. Then, I started to think back to past outings, and realized that it is always the same. It seems to be a very rare occurrence that any of us have physical cash on us.

After this revelation, I wanted to do some more digging. I opened up my handy dandy Bank of America app for the iPhone, and looked at some of my latest purchase prices. They are as follows:

  • $4.83
  • $4.69
  • $5.03
  • $1.07 <– my personal favorite.

These prices are pretty embarrassing to charge to a card, but is that becoming the new normal? There have recently been a lot of talks about transforming into a “cashless” society. A blog I read on BankNXT titled Imagining a Cashless Future talks about what that future could look like. Melanie Friedrichs says “Financial innovations come in many shapes and sizes, but for the most part they all follow a general trend: they turn physical processes into digital ones. The so-called “payments revolution” has often made me wonder what will happen when innovation manages to displace the most physical aspect of finance, cash.”

If in fact we are moving in that direction, will the idea take off among older generations, as it has with Generation-Y? An article on MyBanktracker.com talks about how some current and future generations understand that money is money, even if you don’t necessarily see it. The author of the article Simon Zhen notes “many proponents of cash argue that cash offers psychological feedback — it “hurts” when you see money leave your wallet. A recent experience tells me that, in the future, we will be able to feel the pain of spending, even if it’s through electronic payment methods.” While older generations are used to making cash payments, many young people are only familiar with card transactions. The same psychological element of cash may not be the same as was once believed.

I am very excited to see the next round innovations that are beginning to roll out to push a more cashless society, but I have a feeling many will not feel the same. What do you think; are you ready for a cashless society?


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