Due to the coronavirus pandemic, retailers, restaurants, bars and more are encouraging people to pay via contactless, rather than with cash. The aim of this is to reduce the potential spread of the virus as notes are passed between hands – and many people have stopped handing over cash in favour of tapping their bank cards as a result. This, coupled with the huge increase in online shopping has meant 2020 has been more cashless than ever – but will this change stick around?
According to Statista, the number of cash points in the UK has dropped significantly between 2014 and 2020 – by around 10,000. We’ve been moving towards an increasingly cashless society for some time, but the pandemic may cause it to happen sooner than anticipated. If you’re wondering what this will mean, we’ve highlighted some of the pros and cons below.
Pros of going cashless
- It’s more hygienic: germs can spread as cash is passed from person to person, so contactless cards and online purchases eliminate this risk
- Shops may be less vulnerable to robberies: if retailers don’t have tills packed full of cash each day, they’re less likely to experience robbers targeting them for their money
- It’s easy to track transactions digitally: one of the main benefits of paying with cards is that there’s a paper trail, making it easy to track all transactions
Cons of going cashless
- It’s detrimental to those without a bank account: many people don’t have bank accounts and rely on cash to survive, so they would struggle in a cashless society
- Frivolous spending may increase online: many people say they find frivolous spending more tempting online, as they can’t physically see the cash they’re parting with
- People may face increasing cybercrime issues: unfortunately, cyber criminals may hack your account – taking your money and/or personal details
With the prospect of society becoming increasingly cashless on the horizon, it’s more important than ever to manage your money well. If you shop and bank online, make sure you’re taking stringent security measures. For instance, set a very strong password on your online banking account, install safety software on your devices and never access accounts in a public place. By taking these precautions, you can make safe steps towards a more cashless way of life.
Would you be happy living without cash? Or do you think access to cash is integral to society and the economy?