How Do You Feel About A Cashless UK?
Technology is ever evolving isn’t it? There is no limit to what we can do with technology and especially with development.
As someone who was born in the late 90’s I feel I have been at the front of the new generation of technology innovation. The big tech hits in the 90’s were pagers, Motorla developed the REFLEX wireless protocal which lead to the widespread use of pagers throughout the decade as well as The Original iMac in 1998 created by Apple. All of which of course I cannot remember but from what I can remember technology has been a world wind in my life, the 2000’s brought me a Nokie mobile, the one where they had that amazing snake game (oh how I remember my first mobile, I used to ring my house phone wasting credit to ‘dodgy’ my mam… ‘dodgy’ a northern term for ringing a number then putting the phone down), a Walkman which soon turned into an iPod, a Nintendo DS (remember Nintendogs?!) and many more. I would definitely say I’ve been at luxury with gadgets and must have items. Today I’m just wondering how far we as a population have actually came with technology and what’s next for us?!
Perhaps a cashless Britain? By cashless I mean what if money no longer existed/we no longer needed money to pay for anything? I came across this article where Cartridge Save have been exploring the consequences of a cashless society. What if it was ALL virtual? I personally never carry cash, I can never be bothered to go to cash machine. I’m always skint somehow even though I feel like I am cautious with money so never bother carrying money around to ensure I don’t waste it! I also think all the time ‘I’ll just pay on my card’ because ultimately it’s the easiest option isn’t it. More and more people I know even my Mam, are using contactless payments and digital wallets. Think of it in this perspective if I say went out with my card and someone stole my purse, the purse has only my card in it. I could easily ring my bank up and cancel the card, therefore meaning no money could be stolen plus my card has its own unique PIN code so unless this was genius robber I doubt again anything could be stolen. Whereas if my purse had, had money in it the money would be gone? No way off tracking it or anything. Could a cashless UK be safer?
I feel like there would be advantages to this theory but would I feel happy about ‘Big Brother’ knowing everything I’ve ever bought since if we did go cashless there would be a record of everything, an account of where my money has gone whereas when you pay cash, no one can track your purchases unless you use store loyalty cards and the answer to that is no, not really (not that I have anything hide) but this would be a way to combat the black market. Meaning it would become increasingly harder for people to hide money from tax and government agencies. According to Cartridge Save 71% of people would not be happy with the intrusion even if they had nothing to hide and 7% were comfortable with government agencies having access whilst 2% weren’t sure.
This disadvantages to this theory would be the most vulnerable people in our society, the homeless and charities. The financial inclusion commission state that just under 2 million adults in the UK do not have a bank account, what would they do? Forced into banking? Charities heavily rally on collection boxes as stream of cash, becoming cashless could become an issue and would see a drop in revenue.
According to Ian Carter, Managing Director of Cartridge Save, said:
“I think we may still be some time away from becoming a cashless society, in the UK anyway. Although people are starting to adapt and use new technologies as they are developed, it will take a lot for people to give up cash completely. And as we talked about, there could be some people who will be disadvantaged if we did go cashless, so this would have to be addressed first.”
I’m undecided on a cashless Britain, what do you think?