Welcome to a World Without Money
Imagine a world without cash. That world is coming — and sooner than you think.
Cash has been a key element in the evolution of civilization for more than 3000 years. However, in the last decade it has been losing predominance in favor of electronic money. As online commerce progressively expands and becomes widely adopted and as prepaid credit cards and electronic services such as PayPal, Pioneer and Google and Amazon Pay are increasingly used for low-value cash transactions, money, as we know it, is on its way to becoming obsolete.
But, as cash dies out, quickly becoming a thing from the past, who will profit and who will lose?
The shift to a cashless society is on the horizon. In countries like Sweden, paying with cash has become a hassle and a hard reality for some citizens who have reluctantly been forced to change their consumption habits. Sweden has banned notes and coins almost everywhere, from shops to public transport — after unions protested over the drivers’ safety — even church and homeless people accept electronic money now. Last year barely 1% of all transactions were made using coins or notes, compared to around 7% in EU and in the US. Sweden predicts that just half a percent of its transactions will be in cash by 2020.
There are many benefits to removing cash from the economy, such as eliminating black markets and tax evasion, making illicit activities harder and allowing easier monetary policies. No cash would mean no need to carry around money, waste time, bother with long paper receipts.
This is just the beginning of an upcoming worldwide trend. Globally, payments with cash have consistently dropped in the last 10 years. The cashless reality is quite evident in countries like Canada, South Korea, China, India and Western Europe where massive rapid digital payment systems have been rolled out to guarantee a cashless future, progressively replacing physical money with biometric currencies.
Furthermore, lots of businesses are going cashless to cut costs associated with cash management, to reduce theft and to simplify accounting procedures. In the US, this trend started in restaurants and has progressively spread to retailers and some major airlines like Delta and United…