What is cash? That will be what your children ask you in the future. And when I say future, I mean the next 10 to 15 years. Cash is a dying medium whose days have passed. And the ATM is not far behind.
I rarely carry cash on me nowadays. In fact I know it can be months between having cash in my wallet even when traveling. Most of my payments now are either online with a credit/debit card or using the same cards at the checkout. The thought of actual cash in my wallet is becoming a strange idea.
About the only time I have cash is when I am traveling. When I travel I believe that it is a good idea to have cash handy. When you land, whether it be in your own country or in another, you may not have instant access to an ATM or there may not be any electronic payment systems. So cash is handy until your know your surroundings.
Let’s talk about ATM’s for a moment. In a recent report the Reserve Bank of Australia has stated that they think the amount of automatic teller machines will decrease. They stated two reasons for this. The first was that there are huge amounts of fees to be paid every time you want to withdraw cash. Those fees deter people from taking money out of an ATM, especially when people are aware that if they take money out while paying for something at a shop, they don’t pay those fees.
The second is more related to our topic, the reduction of ATM’s is also based on the fact that people do not use as much money any more. Like me, more and more people are switching to electronic payments. Now that most credit/debit cards have paywave or similar attached, it is easy for people to pull their cards out and just pay that way instead of using cash.
This also goes for traveling. There are a measure of pre-loaded travel cards out there that people are now using. These cards allow you to load you card with the currency of country you are going to. it makes life so easy. I use mine all the time. Again I still have a little cash, however even that depends on where I am going.
Recently when we were in New Zealand, I didn’t bother to go to an ATM and get any NZ cash before I left. I knew that there were ATMs at the airport that I could get cash out of if I needed it. I was also aware that the taxi drivers have eftpos available as well. So I just loaded up my travel card and headed off.
On a trip to NZ last year, we didn’t use cash at all. The whole trip we just used our card. I also so know that the trip back to NZ later this year will be exactly the same.
If you want to see what else is killing cash you can look at the rise of payment systems such as PayPal. These systems let you transfer money around the world with ease that has never existed before. In most businesses now selling things online, you will find a PayPal pay button on their page.
Let’s not forget the rise of cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin. They have sprung up all over the globe. They have moved away from not only cash but conventional currencies.
Then to top everything else off, there are the phone payment systems. Apple and Samsung are both using a payment systems attached to phones. Banks are creating apps they will allow you to use you phone almost like a credit card.
So cash is dying. It is on its way out. But what does that actually mean for you?
As a traveler, it will make your life somewhat easier. You can travel and not have to worry about carrying thick wads of cash around waiting to be stolen. You can use on card in many different countries and also know that if you need to, you can withdraw cash from an ATM.
For a business purpose, it means easier payment systems. If you want people to give you money, and that is why we run a business, then you need to make it easy for people to pay you. However you need to do your research first.
Before you set up any payment system to replace cash you need to look at the pros and cons of the system. A search of the internet will get you started on the ups and downs of any payment system that you are looking at. As a brief example, PayPal is widely used throughout the world and can do direct debit and credit payments. A downside is, many businesses have had their accounts frozen over time due to PayPal trying to stop money going to drugs or child prostitution. People have had accounts frozen for up to a year while PayPal does their own investigation, with little to no contact with the owner of the account. So research.
Your business needs to have money flowing in. You need a good payment system. As you are trying to set up a mobile business, you need to have a mobile payment system. Cash can work, if you really want but if you are traveling all the time, it can be harder for people to pay you.
No matter what happens in the future with cash, you need to be looking for another way to get paid. It will not be long until the governments of the world decide that cash is no longer worth printing. So do your due diligence, forget about ATM’s and find alternatives to cash.
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