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Long gone are the days of you fumbling in your pockets for the right change.
Cashless businesses are on the rise and it won’t be long before we see the extinction of coins in common everyday use. While some countries are holding onto this form of their currency, technology is leaping forward and allowing us to get our hands on all sorts of cashless alternatives.
Let’s take a look at how cash is on the way out, and what other alternatives we could reach for instead.
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It is still fairly rare but it is possible to find businesses which are entirely coin-free. You can still pay by cash but you do so by depositing the exact change into a slot on the counter. This is a particularly good system in any shop which handles food like a sandwich shop or a bakery.
Coins are some of the germiest things we touch in our everyday lives. This can be an issue in a work environment like a café which requires high levels of hygiene. Removing the need to handle cash helps improve this ten-fold.
Credit Cards & Contactless
Credit cards have been around for years but there has been a recent shift to make them more accessible to all. The rise of the internet and the boom of internet shopping has meant that many people will need a credit card so they can pay for their online goods.
To be able to attract these new customers, credit card companies are adapting their plans and introducing new products such as credit cards with reward schemes. These are great as it allows you to earn points towards a reward while you shop; similar to a loyalty scheme with a brand but obviously instead available anywhere you can use the card.
You can use the points on Airmiles, treats like cases of wine, and much more depending on which scheme you choose. If this sounds like something you want to take a look at, this list of top rewards credit cards can tell you more about what can expect.
Certainly, one of the biggest innovations recently when it comes to cards is the introduction of contactless technology. This has greatly sped up transaction times and allows for quicker service in shops.
Contactless technology is well-liked across Europe but it is interesting to look at different countries’ approaches to it. It is estimated that approximately 63% of Brits use contactless and we have one of the highest transaction limits in Europe despite it being only £30. We can expect to see this limit rise as it becomes more popular.
We all know the panic of heading out of the house only to realize that our cards are not on us. This feeling has been alleviated by the introduction of mobile pay. No matter if you have an iPhone or an Android, you are able to install some sort of mobile pay app on it so you can pay for goods so long as you still have a charge on your phone.
This technology is making waves across Europe and is popping up everywhere. From cafes and supermarkets to public transport like your local bus, it won’t be long before mobile pay will be everywhere. When you consider that mobile pay operates in the same way as contactless but currently does not have any transaction limits, it is easy to understand why it is becoming more and more popular.
Such a formula has already proven massively popular in places like China. The Chinese have an app called WeChat which they use for everything.
Not only is it a communication app, but it also allows for payments to be made through the scan of a QR code. This has completely revolutionized China to the point that the only people you really see with paper cash are tourists. Even street vendors selling trinkets or snacks all have their own little sign with a QR code so they can get paid.
Changes like this in Europe would ultimately change the way we handle money significantly and it would be interesting to see if such changes could be made.
Cash is on the Out
It is unlikely that we are going to see cash disappear anytime soon but it is definitely on the way out when you see how many different options there are for people who would rather go cashless.
Whether you are grabbing a rewards credit card or installing a mobile pay app on your phone, there are plenty of ways technology is making it so we don’t have to carry cash anymore. Will we innovate and transform as China has or will we come up with our own system of cashless pay?
It will be interesting to see the new financial products which come out in the next few years.