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Cashless Explored

Updated: Sep 11, 2023

The concept of a cashless society has both proponents and critics, and whether it is "bad" or not depends on one's perspective and the specific context. Here are some reasons why some people might view a cashless society as having potential drawbacks:

  1. Financial Exclusion: In a cashless society, individuals who lack access to digital payment methods or technology may be excluded from participating fully in the economy. This can disproportionately affect low-income individuals, the elderly, and marginalized communities who may not have access to bank accounts or smartphones.

  2. Privacy Concerns: Cash transactions are relatively private, as they don't leave a digital trail. In a cashless society, every financial transaction can be tracked and monitored, potentially raising concerns about personal privacy and surveillance.

  3. Security Risks: Digital payment systems can be vulnerable to cyberattacks and fraud. If a society heavily relies on cashless transactions, the impact of a widespread cyberattack on the financial system could be severe.

  4. Dependence on Technology: A cashless society is heavily reliant on technology and infrastructure. Any disruptions, whether due to technical failures, power outages, or natural disasters, could leave people unable to make essential transactions.

  5. Transaction Costs: Digital payment systems often come with fees, especially for merchants. In a cashless society, businesses may pass these fees onto consumers, potentially leading to increased costs for goods and services.

  6. Financial Control: Banks and financial institutions have significant control over digital payment systems. In a cashless society, they may have more influence over individuals' financial activities, potentially limiting financial autonomy.

  7. Economic Inequality: Some argue that a cashless society could exacerbate economic inequality, as those who benefit most from digital transactions (e.g., large corporations) may gain more power and wealth, while smaller businesses and individuals face higher costs and risks.

  8. Loss of Tangibility: Cash provides a tangible and physical representation of value. Some people prefer the tactile nature of cash and find it easier to manage their spending when they can physically see and touch their money.

  9. Unbanked and Underbanked Populations: Many people around the world still lack access to basic banking services. A cashless society could further marginalize these populations, making it difficult for them to engage in economic activities.

It's important to note that the move toward a cashless society is a complex issue, and there are also significant advantages, such as convenience, reduced crime associated with cash, and more efficient financial transactions. The key is to strike a balance between the benefits of digital payments and the need to ensure financial inclusion, privacy, security, and affordability for all members of society. Regulatory measures and technological innovations can play a role in addressing some of the potential drawbacks of a cashless society.

From the internet:

"Why should we pay cash everywhere instead of a card?

1. I have $50 in my pocket. I am going to a restaurant and paying for dinner with it.

2. The restaurant owner then uses the bill to pay for the laundry.

3. The laundry owner then uses the bill to pay the barber.

4. The barber will then use the bill for shopping.

After an unlimited number of payments, it will still remain at $50 in value. It has fulfilled its purpose to everyone who used it for payment, and the bank has jumped dry from every cash payment transaction made.


If I come to a restaurant and pay digitally via Card,

1. The bank fees for my payment transaction charged to the seller are 3%, so around $1.50.

(and so will be the fee of $1.50 for each further payment transaction)

2. For the owner re laundry or payments of the owner of the laundry shop, or payments of the barber etc.

Therefore, after 30 transactions, the initial $50 will exist at only $5, and the remaining $45 has become the property of the bank… thanks to all of the digital transactions and fees!

Use it or lose it folks…

Once it’s gone, we won’t get it back!

Cash is king!"

Discussion Questions:

Access and Inclusion:

  • Do you think everyone has equal access to digital payment methods in your community?

  • What challenges might people face if they don't have access to digital payments in a predominantly cashless society?

Privacy and Security:

  • How do you feel about the idea of all your financial transactions being digitally tracked in a cashless society?

  • What security measures do you think are important to protect against cyberattacks and fraud in a cashless economy?

Benefits and Concerns:

  • What do you find most convenient about cashless payments?

  • Are there any drawbacks or concerns you have about living in a society that primarily uses digital transactions?

  • Which do you prefer? cashless or cash society?

  • Are there any issues with going completely cashless?


Exercise 1: Fill in the Blanks

Fill in the blanks with the appropriate words or phrases.

  1. In a cashless society, people ____ rely on physical coins and banknotes for transactions.

  2. Credit cards, debit cards, and mobile payment apps ____ commonly used in this type of economy.

  3. Many businesses ____ to adopt cashless payment methods to streamline their operations.

  4. Online shopping has become popular because it ____ convenient and secure payment options.

  5. Electronic transactions ____ quicker than traditional cash transactions.

  6. People ____ to carry wallets filled with cash when they can make digital payments.

Exercise 2: Sentence Correction

Identify and correct the grammar mistakes in the following sentences related to a cashless society.

  1. Cashless societies is gaining popularity all over the world. Correction: Cashless societies are gaining popularity all over the world.

  2. The cashier excepts both credit and debit cards. Correction: The cashier accepts both credit and debit cards.

  3. People doesn't need physical money anymore. Correction: People don't need physical money anymore.

  4. Electronic payments is faster than using cash. Correction: Electronic payments are faster than using cash.

  5. She pays her bills online, which is more easy. Correction: She pays her bills online, which is easier.

Exercise 3: True or False

Decide whether the following statements are true or false based on the concept of a cashless society.

  1. True/False: In a cashless society, physical currency is the primary means of conducting transactions.

  2. True/False: Credit cards, debit cards, and mobile payment apps are commonly used in a cashless society.

  3. True/False: Online shopping is not affected by the transition to a cashless society.

  4. True/False: Electronic transactions are generally slower than traditional cash transactions.

  5. True/False: Carrying a wallet filled with cash is a common practice in a cashless society.

Exercise 4: Sentence Completion

Complete each sentence with an appropriate word or phrase related to the concept of a cashless society.

  1. In a cashless society, people rely on ___________ for making payments.

  2. Mobile payment apps and ___________ have transformed the way we handle transactions.

  3. Many businesses have adopted cashless payment methods to ___________ their financial processes.

  4. The convenience of ___________ has led to the popularity of online shopping.

  5. Electronic transactions are typically ___________ than using physical currency.

  6. People prefer not to carry ___________ when they can make digital payments.

Answers: Exercise 1:

  1. do not

  2. are

  3. are starting

  4. offers

  5. are

  6. prefer not

Exercise 2:

  1. True

  2. False

  3. False

  4. False

  5. False

Exercise 4:

  1. digital payments

  2. credit cards

  3. streamline

  4. online shopping

  5. quicker

  6. wallets

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