Guest Post

Are We Really Ready For a Cashless Society?

Are We Really Ready For a Cashless Society?

You know the old saying, “Cash is King”, but is it still King?

Last week when Visa’s payment processing system went down, it was revealed that in the UK, 1-in-3 transactions for a purchase, a third of purchases, was completed by either using a Visa debit card, or Visa credit card.

So when they systems went down, there were a lot of people unable to spend money.  However, cash still worked just fine.

Technology has changed how we bank and how we spend money.  More and more people are using mobile banking, and online banking while still popular, is taking a back seat to mobile banking, and for two reasons.

We always have our mobiles with us, and we can connect to almost everyone, or anything, anywhere, and secondly, there are more and more mobile payment apps and options available to us.

Who goes into a bank branch any more?  Who writes a cheque?

That is one reason bank branches are closing faster than the High Street shops.

Next let’s look at the TSB fiasco a couple of weeks ago, customers and account holders not being able to gain access to their money.  Some watching as their accounts were drained, and being given other account holder’s details, all while waiting hours to get through to customer service.

The “trickle down” effect of such an IT meltdown was more like flood gates being opened than a trickle down.

People trying to pay for a property cannot settle the deal as they cannot transfer the funds.  Bills being paid late, in the instances of credit accounts being paid late, this could impact someone’s credit score or credit rating.

Then let’s just toss in the mix the other banking “glitches” that have occurred with other banks, Tesco Bank, NatWest, HSBC, there are few banks that have NOT had some form of IT issue or technical glitch, that has caused account holders to not have access to their money, or be able to pay for a purchase.

Cash doesn’t experience IT glitches.

Maybe a few quid under the old mattress is not such a mad idea.

However, are we really moving towards a cashless society at all, is it a conspiracy to herd us in that direction??

Lastly, we add in the threat of ATM closures.  Link the largest operator of ATM’s has recently reduced their transaction fees, which normally any reduction would be cause to celebrate.  However, not in this instance.

By reducing their fee, there is a fear that some ATM’s that are not used a lot or are profitable will be removed, closed down.  This could create “ATM deserts”.  Then where would we even go to get cash?

So we are back to being herded into a cashless society.

Herded by technology, the ease of use, lack of access to cash and bank branches, and even the government who has proposed a cashless society.

This then begs the question, are we ready for a cashless society?

With so many errors, glitches, and IT outages, are we really ready.

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