Are We Close to a Cashless Society?

by David Scott on February 5, 2014

coin

I can remember my parents telling me that someday we would not use cash.  I can remember people telling me that pennies would be obsolete (I can also remember my accounting teacher telling me that every penny counts).  Yet these all seemed about as far away as some of the things I saw in an episode of the Jetsons.

But today, I think we are reaching that point, and I might be one of the first to hop aboard that train.  I remember the days of direct deposit.  Just let payroll put the money in your bank account?  Oh boy.  Then we encountered electronic bill payments.  You are going to trust the internet?  I don’t.  And of course the credit card changed how we did things.  I can use a credit card at the gas pump?  All by myself?  And now we have the debit card.  I can charge things directly against the same account that receives my paycheck and without writing anything.  Oh, and who can forget our new ability to scan and deposit a check from a smartphone?

Are you thinking what I’m thinking? I bet you are.

All of these are great, and clear signs of technology changing our lives, but I found something new.  I routinely travel for work, so keeping separate credit cards so I can segregate my personal and professional life is just part of the routine…until now.

Watch this video from a company called Coin and tell me if you could not only sense your wallet getting thinner, but a revolution taking place.  I still think the cashless endgame will be apps for the smartphone that eventually take over the concept of swiping a card, after all, those same apps are the ones that can invoke advanced security (like a fingerprint), but for now, this may just be the next step. A digital credit card, massively expandable, that replaces every single magnetic-striped card you have in your wallet or purse.

Personally, I don’t think I can be totally cashless because I still feel obliged to tip the bellman, but who knows…maybe someday he’ll have a card reader for his smartphone like Square.

Now, when do I get the flying car, George?

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