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If you are unsure about what a ‘cashless society’ means, we are here to inform you that it is the kind of society where transactions are made digitally. You do not have to be weighed down by the bulk of cash that you carry in your bag or pockets. The concept of going cashless might seem a bit puerile to us since we have grown so accustomed to dishing out real cash for all our transactions. Most of us might even be apprehensive about the entire idea of digital transactions, and to be brutally honest, no matter how technologically advanced it might seem, a cashless society has problems of its own. We shall move on to analysing how society can benefit out of a cashless society in days to come, and also look into the potential threats that it might face due to the same concept.
What Is The Whole Ruckus About?
The notion of moving towards a cashless society is still in its nascent stage but has been seen to raise the eyebrows of finance experts, politicians, business magnets, and several other powerful forces in the market. The entire group of the intelligentsia is divided into two parts-the ones who favour a cashless society, and the ones who do not. Financial critics too, favour the agenda and have their reasons ready when asked about the perks of a cashless society.
The working definition of a cashless society would be a kind of financial system where funds are exchanged through credit and debit cards or any other electronic means rather than a transaction made in cash.
We have not yet reached a point where the law could enforce a mandatory switch to digital transactions, but the day might not be that far when the entire barter in our economy would become cashless. However, is cashless really as lucrative as it sounds? As has been established at the beginning of the article, a cashless society has several potential dangers up its sleeves-ones that might be visible to us at a cursory glance. This is why it is essential that we put the entire concept under microscopic scrutiny and arm ourselves with the knowledge necessary to make a decision when the time comes. If the government vouches for a cashless economy, then there is pretty much nothing we can do about it, but know how to handle, manage, or limit the malice of a situation if need be.
Perks of a Cashless Society:
Before moving on to the darker territories of a cashless society, it shall do us good to gauge the benefits that come along with such an economy.
Lower Crime Rate-
It is always easier to commit money related crimes when an economy runs on tangible cash. However, the same becomes quite difficult when all the transactions happen through electronic channels. There is also a lesser chance of money being laundered or used for illegal trades since there will always be a record of the financial proceedings.
There is always a possibility to hide costs from the government and evade taxes when the deal is made in cash. However, the same can become quite a task when the same proceeding is dealt in e-cash. There is always a record of every payment received or dished out, and thus, it becomes easier to keep a tab on unauthorized or illegal trade and other financial dealings.
Easier Cash Management-
With a cashless society on the rise, it might become easier to manage cash as printing cash and coins require money. There would be no trouble of moving large sums of money around, depositing and storing since everything would be handled through the digital platform.
International Transactions Could Become Much Easier-
It is always a hassle to convert money in its foreign counterpart when one is travelling abroad. With electronic transactions, it might not even be necessary to go for money conversion. You can buy the smallest of commodities through electronic platforms.
The Lows of a Cashless Society:
The perks being said, we must now move on to analyse how a cash-free economy could prove to be pernicious to the society. We would be treading on dangerous grounds if we were to go entirely cashless. It might seem easy with PayTm, Google Pay, and several debit and credit cards to pay for our daily affairs. Ken explains in this page certain details about credit cards that you might find interesting. However, the ramifications of a cashless society are graver than what we presume it to be.
Let us start with the most basic and primary disadvantage of going cashless. Technology might improve our lives and act as a boon, but it shall not take a minute for it to assume the shape of a bane. With millions of consumers around, the same mobile or computer networks are being shared every millisecond. Therefore, it should not be surprising if the network fails to provide to demanding consumers all over the world. Transaction of money through electronic platforms might not work for the best in such times.
Technology is susceptible to various cyber threats like phishing and hacking. E-transactions might require us to store vital and confidential information on devices which can be hacked easily. Credit and debit card security numbers are being hacked these days like it is a piece of cake. Therefore, it would be ludicrous to believe that our sensitive information is safe on the e-devices.
The rich get richer, and the poor get poorer. This has always been the agenda of our society that works in a particular hierarchy. The destitute have hardly any means to put food on their table, and getting their hands on expensive devices by which such transactions can be made is a far cry. Therefore, the section of society that shall suffer in a cashless society is the proletariat. Inequality shall reach an all-time high, and the already misbalanced society shall tip towards its doom.
These are some of the major, but basic albeit, disadvantages of living in a cashless society. There are various other reasons to vote against a cash-free society. Each story has two sides, and while one side might seem brighter than the sun, we never know what darkness the other side holds.