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The steep price of going cashless

Categories : Cash is trust
August 17, 2016
Tags : Card payments, Cash substitution, Payment instruments, Privacy and anonymity, Usage
Before making a definitive move, we might want to weigh the costs of going cashless.
Communication Team / Equipo de Comunicación

There is a global tendency, especially in the Western hemisphere, to increasingly opt for cards or mobile payments over cash.

Even in Australia, this trend has been gaining ground in the past decade. Today, every Australian swipes the card 22.8 million times a month for a total of $1824, equal to $3.08 for every $1 in cash.

Consumers have joyfully embraced cards, and especially mobile payments thanks to their speed and the convenience of carrying a lighter wallet or simply a phone.

But the joys of electronic payments don’t only make consumers happy: it’s the banks that are ecstatic. The more you swipe, the more information they have about you. Thanks to your purchases they can quickly estimate if you’re a health freak, or fast-food junky. If you’re a geek or a metrosexual. It all shows up in your spending habits. No wonder banks have heavily invested, and are continuing to invest heavily in big data.

The benefits go beyond consumer data, however. A cashless society will mean banks can fire staff, stop supplying and managing ATMs and (once your money is fully digital) they will be free to charge you for storing your money in their vaults, ehm, servers.

So before we make the definitive move, we might want to weigh the costs beyond the simple convenience of digital payments.

To read the original article, click here. [paywall]