We may be closer than we think to our first ever cashless day according to Wired. Sweden is particularly close with only 20% of transactions made in cash in 2014, and with e-commerce continuing to grow strongly.
Finance Technology is a hot topic right now, not only in terms online sales, but in-store purchases too. It’s now easier than ever to be a market trader and accept cashless payments via various contactless payment devices, so perhaps small business is leading the way?
Speeding Up Service
In the US the popular salad chain Sweetgreen is soon to make the move to cashless with payment only via their app or by card. Sweetgreen co-founder Jonathan Neman told Business Insider “[going cashless] started with an imperative that we’ve always had at Sweetgreen: How do we simplify things?” The company believe going cashless will speed up service by 10% as well as reducing the threat of robbery or theft.
Plastic, Mobile and Apps
India and Canada also have cities where going completely cashless sooner rather than later look likely. Bus companies here in the UK have spoken about plans to roll out cashless systems within the next few years. Going back to the Sweden, The Guardian recently reported that “Swish, a hugely popular app developed jointly with the major banks including Nordea, Handelsbanken, SEB, Danske Bank and Swedbank, uses phone numbers to allow anyone with a smartphone to transfer money from one bank account to another in real time.”
The younger generation has grown up with card and app payments as commonplace so this is only likely to fuel the trend further. MasterCard said contactless spending in the UK had more than tripled in the past year, and The Evening Standard reported that it could be as soon as 2020 when London turns into a cashless city.
Although there’s still much focus on plastic, mobile phones are creeping into the limelight with the likes of Apple Pay, and of course there are an ever-increasing amount of apps to supposedly make life easier. In fact, London-based start-up Bud are launching their new product that brings a range of FinTech apps together to help consumers access the latest finance technology.
This shift doesn’t come without concern. There are worries that moving to a cashless society will exclude a minority of the population, cash for the homeless, those without bank accounts and the poorest in society, The Guadian explore this issue further. However, this is an area of technology that’s moving fast, with consumer and business convenience at the heart of the issue.