The Future of Money is Digital
With the release of new money in the UK dominating public interest, it’s vital for the economic sector to stay afloat in the digital age.
New technological developments are making it easier for consumers and traders to keep their cash in code, rather than coins, and more and more businesses are struggling with the change.
Before approaching the idea of the future of digital money, it’s important to recognise that a significant portion of the population are still attached to their physical money. Older generations and smaller businesses who struggle with the digital transitions are shown to have a much higher preference for cash in hand, rather than contactless contraptions. These are the consumers with change to spare, in a pocket or on a bedside table in a jar, and should not be discounted in the new age of ApplePay and automatic transactions. These are also the people pushing back against moves to make everyday appliances and interactions digitalised, such as touch-on bus cards, online newspaper subscriptions and voice activated mobile banking.
But with the figures of cash-preferenced consumers set to reduce over the next few years, moves are already being set in place for a global cashless economic system.
Wheels In Motion
For many economic sectors across various industries, the ‘cash-in-hand’ approach is long forgotten. Over the past 10 years, global economic growth has risen and fallen year after year, but for large sectors such as retail, banking and stocks, an increase in cash flow has meant that digital currency is often the only option.With one in every three Europeans expressing a desire to change their banking and spending to 100% cashless, there’s definitely a market for the contactless and coded payment systems, with plans for the €500 note being withdrawn earlier this year. In the Eastern markets, India has already removed over 23 billion bank notes from the economy in an attempt to go digital, with more countries set to follow suit.
So what are the options for cashless technology? Is the world ready for full-body AI payment systems, or do we have some alternative to play with first?
One of the most innovative economic inventions this year has been Bitcoin, the payment network with a ‘no bank, no teller’ policy, designed to help increase international payments, improve contactless transactions, secure identity details and avoid banking fees. Run entirely through digital streams, Bitcoin is reportedly performing over three hundred quadrillion hash computations per second, functioning transactions, payments and withdrawals at increasingly efficient rates. Some businesses and workplaces are already starting to welcome Bitcoin payments into their systems, with US universities now accepting the currency as payment for tuition fees.
Another option for cashless payment is mobile, with the new iPhone release sparking interest in a future of banking run by facial recognition software. With the ability to enter bank accounts, carry out public transactions and make payments through the software in your phone, banking of the future could literally be done in the blink of an eye.
Ready For Digital
Among those ready for digital change is the Generation Z collective, a generation brought up on contactless and online banking. Whilst the millennial generation was characterised by its naivety around money and their tendency for binge-spending, the new generation is ready for tech-forward shopping. If this young generation is ready for AI, for AR, for VR cash alternatives, virtual piggy bank apps, savings goal reminders, and prepaid pocket money cards, then who knows what the next age collective might create.
The future of money is inherently digital, and there’s no way to escape, but with the benefits of submission and acceptance being so great, why would anyone want to?