Sounds strange, doesn’t it? Have less money and ultimately have more. It looks the way society is going toward a cashless society now, many new shops do not accept cash now, people are carrying it less and less, and there are more and more ways to pay for things making the need for money much smaller. But what are the benefits of a cashless society and how could it make your and your business financially better off?
Cashless payments are safer; they leave behind an obvious record meaning that it is harder for people to commit crimes such as bribery, tax evasion, money, counterfeiting, corruption and terrorist financing. Now that we have technologies such as voice and face recognition, as well as retina-scanning, these have been able to be introduced into transactions making payments more secure than ever before.
A cashless society also creates an opportunity for alternate currencies, such as hyper-local currencies that aim to encourage spending in local economies. Nonofficial payment systems like these are already developing worldwide, with the likes of TEM (Alternative Monetary Unit) in Greece. No single person is permitted to hold more than 1,200 TEMs, or owe more than 300, meaning it can’t be hoarded like regular cash. TEM is also only accepted in the city of Volos so that it serves to stimulate the local economy as it has to be spent there.
Offering your customers different ways to pay makes life much easier for them and will result in more money for you. Did you hear about the guy who sells The Big Issue and while it only costs small change, no one carries cash anymore. He invested in a card machine and made a fortune because people could easily spend their £2 quickly and easily via a contactless payment. There was no rummaging around for money, no waiting for change or unable to get change, it’s a quick and easy transaction that was more appealing to customers.
If you have a merchant account or can offer customers to pay via Paypal or Apple Pay, then you are going to attract more sales. Society, in general, could benefit from changes to the way money is spent, and businesses would enjoy reduced costs without the need for cash infrastructure, as well as increased efficiency and productivity.
However, this doesn’t come without risk as of course there will always be potential problems with a cashless society. Digital transactions, for example, are easily tracked and recorded which is excellent in some instances, but it also raises concerns over surveillance and who has access to these data trails. There are also concerns that wealthier people may be better equipped to buy themselves privacy, while the average person with a traditional bank account will receive no anonymity. There is also an increased risk of crimes such as identity theft, account takeover, fraudulent transactions and data breaches which you need to be aware of.