Cash usage has fallen dramatically during the lockdown with Banks now reporting that cash payments now represent less than one in four of all payments made. The use of technology to access bank accounts, online payments and contactless now being the easiest and fastest way for many of us to access our every-day finances.
But there are still millions of people who rely on cash who either cannot afford or are unable to rely on new technology. This is a complex situation and risks people being unable to withdraw cash or pay with it if we continue to see an increase in cashless payments being the way forward.
There are a number or pros and cons for a cashless society, but it is a personal choice but as we have all found in the last few months the option to pay in cash has been taken away by some shops and supermarkets.
- Reduces risk of violent crime (cash tills robbery)
- Reduces tax evasion (paid in cash to avoid paying tax)
- Harder for criminals who rely on cash payments (cash transactions avoid govt security)
- Better hygiene (Covid 19 spread as virus can live on paper/coins)
- Quicker Transactions (less queues/time costs exchanging cash)
- Cash helps households manage spend (Reduces overspending on cards)
- Freedom to choose taken away (discrimination against those who do not have a bank account)
- Privacy issues – (Government gain more control over citizens and spend data)
- Cash has intrinsic and emotional value – e-cash does not
- Not all have access to bank account and credit cards (approximately 2m in the UK do't have a bank account)
I personally like to manage my household weekly expenses with cash as I have family member who need access to cash at various times for a variety of reasons. However, since Covid 19 I haven’t spent any cash at all only card payments. We all now live in an age where we can do most financial transactions through our mobile digitally. But by going cashless, there is a danger of shutting out the most vulnerable in society.