When cash goes digital


There was a time when the queues in the bank on a Saturday morning used to be interminable. That was when you cashed in your pay cheque. Of course, before that, there was a time when your salary was paid in cash, but I guess few of those reading this article will even remember that. Now we do not see our salaries, and I do not mean that in the sense that they are soon spent.

Strictly speaking, you can spend a whole month, more if you are well organised, without touching cash. Money has become digital.

It can be argued that cash is dying, even if this is a rather rash argument given that 85% of retail transactions worldwide are being carried out in cash. However, bills, managing money and buying stuff is becomeing increasigly easier and more secure. This will improve when currency is stored digitally.

There are claims that digitally stored currency may help break the cycle of poverty, making it easier for the poor to save, pay and be paid as well as avoid bank tarrifs for transactions. For the affluent, digital curriencies provide more choices for payment of stuff, too many choices perhaps as your car, your phone, your watch and many more things besides may offer you retail and transaction possibilities which once were available only physically.

Apps, services and devices are being designed to give people who do not have bank accounts, ways to move money around more securely. However, some of these concepts come with new risks, including the use of the volatile and highly controversial crypto currencies as a means of more financial inclusion.

(Adapted from CNET)