The Costs Of Moving Towards The Cashless Society
With rising advancements in technology, the move towards a cashless society is progressing where transactions are done using electronic devices. There are diverse views towards a cashless society where analysts stressed its advantages while those who are unfavourable of it mentioned the negative impacts it can bring (Sivabalan, 2017). In my opinion, I do not support the idea of a cashless society as the costs certainly outweigh the benefits.
A cashless society is not desirable when it affects the people and the economy of a country. Transiting to a cashless society at a faster rate than people can get used to may lead to a possibility of many being left behind and taken advantaged of (Marria, 2018). This aligns with Henly (2016), who stresses that those who are unwilling to switch to improved digital payment methods especially the pioneer generation will be underprivileged (Henly, 2016). Sivabalan (2017) highlights that lower-income groups rely on using small amounts of cash to live by their days and it may be too expensive and impractical for them to purchase electronic devices just for payment. Unfortunately, this may result in a social divide where only the privileged gets to experience using local facilities. This is in accordance with Marria (2018), who insists that people who do not have an account in a financial institution may have the likelihood of not receiving their salary at all and do not get to enjoy subsidies. It is also crucial to note that machines are not perfect and have its limitations, a failure may occur when people need to withdraw money for urgent matters (Marria, 2018). Furthermore, Orme (2019) asserts that switching to a cashless system can negatively affect the financial state of the country especially those who are dependent on physical currency. It is also important to take into account that some states that do not have a reliable source of network for people to carry out online transactions (Reid, 2018). The greater use of technology to carry out payments have also increased the chances of cyberattacks significantly (Marria, 2018).
However, a cashless society may be desirable as it brings about many benefits. According to Marria (2018), online transactions can be tracked, deterring illegal money transactions. This aligns with Orme (2019) who suggests that crimes involving the stealing of physical cash can be prevented. In addition, it is becoming too expensive to continue running machines, rendering a cashless system more sustainable in the long run (Marria, 2018). Orme (2019) also claims that it will make the process of handling money safer, more productive, and less troublesome. Furthermore, it is easier to manage our expenses and there is greater control over the use of our income. Another benefit of moving towards a cashless society is that the government would be better at stabilising the economy with the use of policies (Marria, 2018). This is especially beneficial when the state is in a bad financial situation. As people need time to get used to new technology, it is wise to transit to a cashless system cautiously (Marria, 2018). It can be implemented, but authorities have to ensure that there are existing measures enforced to look after those who lack behind, and also when technology malfunctions (Marria, 2018).
In conclusion, the costs of moving towards a cashless society are undoubtedly greater than the benefits, thus it is undesirable.
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