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THE MONEY-GO-ROUND: Do we want a cashless society?

I read a post the other day, ( on the Newcastle Echo Facebook page) about Opal cards. There were words about convenience and time and what really makes the perfect commuter.

I thought about making this article about the do’s and don’ts of public transport and adding up all the minutes and seconds and we’d all save if we all switched to digital (or better yet, perhaps a system that was a little less reliant on a plastic card but that’s another story for another time) I really wanted to pose the question of cash versus credit. Does anyone ever really use cash anymore?

I mean I sure do, but the last few times I’ve tried to pay it’s been a shock and surprise to the person behind the counter. Then I get all confused I know we’re moving slowly yet surely to a cashless society, and I know that one day we’ll be able to pay for everything with our phones or watch or a chip inside our arms or whatever, but what about now?

I’ve worked in a lot of stores where customers pretty much only pay with cash, in fact, they seem to be scared of any other type of payment. I had a customer say to me once that he didn’t want anyone to know how much money he had, or made, or carried around. I’m also pretty sure he didn’t have a bank account and kept all of his money in a mattress in an undisclosed location.

But what about the rest of us? I can get the convenience of an Opal card on public transport – no one is really up for a chat and everyone is just trying to get from a to b, but what about when we’re shopping? Surely something has to be said about the positives of paying with cash when you consider the whole interaction thing.

When you pay with cash, there’s a moment, an exchange, and something to be said about taking the time to take time to actually make a transaction.

So how do you pay? Cash, card, coins, pennies even? Honestly, I don’t personally mind as long as I have enough money to buy coffee every morning. Small victories, duh.

Written by Laura Kebby

I write words about talented people doing talented things, and translate chatter by putting pen to paper.