All You Need to Know About Going Cashless

Authored By: Community Financial Credit Union on 12/29/2020

As our world grows increasingly digitized, many consumers are banishing cash from their wallets and choosing other ways to pay. You may be thinking about following the masses by also getting rid of your cash. Or maybe you’re wondering if every transaction in the country will soon be digitized. Whatever the case, we have answered all of your questions about going cashless on a societal and personal level.

What if the entire country went cashless?

If the government were to stop printing paper money, cash would have no value and every vendor would need a way to process electronic payments. With that in mind, it doesn’t sound like this transition will happen anytime soon. 

However, eliminating cash has many benefits that we can utilize even before a full-country move toward digital currency. Some of these include:

No anonymous transactions for funding black markets. Most illegal transactions happen with cash. Getting rid of all paper money can significantly curtail the viability of these black markets.

Fewer white-collar crimes. Similarly, money laundering and other white-collar crimes will be more difficult to pull off without the availability of cash.

No cash management. Printing money, storing it and transferring large amounts of cash all cost money.

Easier international payments. If every developed country accepted cashless payments, there’d be no need to exchange your money for local currency when you visit a foreign country.

On the flip side, there are serious concerns associated with the possibility of a completely cashless society. Here are just a few:

Increased risk of fraud. With everyone paying for every purchase digitally, hackers have a much wider pool of victims to target.

Lack of privacy. When every transaction happens online, your personal choices are no longer personal.

Inequality. A cashless society is unfair to the poor and unbanked.

Extra fees. It’s probable that payment processors and peer-to-peer payment apps will start charging higher fees for every transaction in a cashless world.

Choose what works for you

Regardless of whether the country goes cashless anytime soon, you can decide to pay for your own purchases with a mobile wallet or debit or credit card. You may choose to do so for reasons of convenience, or for the effortless expense-tracking of cashless payments. Before you jump at the idea, though, consider these important personal benefits of holding onto some of your cash:

  • Multiple studies show that most people spend less when paying with cash.
  • Cash transactions are always free, while card transactions and digital payments often come with fees.
  • Some vendors only accept cash payments.
  • Cash always works, even during power outages or when your phone is out of juice.
  • There’s no risk of fraud with cash.

Your Turn: How do you feel about a cashless society? Share your thoughts with us in the comments.

« Return to "Money Matter$ Blog" Go to main navigation