Would You Vote for a Cashless Society?
The rise of debit cards, credit cards, and electronic fund transfers allows many Americans to live what appears to be a cashless life today. If America evolved to a cashless society, the speed of consumer and business transactions would continue to increase.
Patterns in noncash payments are influenced by technological advancements, changes in business and consumer financial behavior, the evolving business cycle, and population growth. Since 2001 the Federal Reserve System has conducted a triannual study to examine payment trends in the United States every three years. Overall these studies demonstrate an extreme growth in electronic payments.
The results of the last study were released in 2013 and stated that by 2012 approximately two-third of consumer and business payments were made with payment cards. Paper checks fell to 15% in 2012 when six years before checks represented almost half of all noncash payments. Almost all paper checks were already being filed electronically in 2012 due to technological advancements with the ACH. The payment trends for the last three years should be released near the beginning of 2017
So how would a cashless society affect you if the rise of electronic money took over all transactions?
Overall the speed of transactions would increase. There would be less people mailing payments and more people wirelessly using charge cards to make payments. There would also be no stores obligated to give consumers back change that often comes with cash purchases.
An original purpose for developing electronic payments such as credit and debit cards is to decrease the amount of money that can be stolen from someone by reducing the amount of cash a person has to carry around physically. Electronic payments are a convenience.
Sweden is heading towards a cashless society the fastest. Retailers enjoy the convenience but are not thrilled about transaction fees that come with electronic payments and new apps. Having a cashless society also puts all transactions on a statement and removes the ability to spend money privately without it being recorded.
Would you vote for a cashless society?