Cash. It's one of those many nuisance items that we need to carry around with us. We use it to pay for immediate supplies at a store, in parking meters, to tip staff, and for some large electronic devices.
The world is slowly adopting payment methods that don't need notes and coins. Experts at Mastercard predict we could be a completely cashless society in the next 20 years. How is this going to happen? Advances in technology are the answer.
Google, Apple, and Samsung Pay
The three big players in the tech industry have all released their own payment apps. It's so simple, the user adds their credit or debit card details to the virtual 'wallet' and can then pay for countless goods and services via this platform.
Every transaction is performed from a smartphone, and you don't even need to carry the cards with you. In some cases, you don't also need a credit or debit card as your bank account is an acceptable payment option for some of these.
Smart Travel Cards
Dropping coins into the slot on the bus, or into the gates at the metro station, are other examples of frustrating reasons to carry around loose change. Many countries in Asia, Europe, and further away like Australia are doing away with this archaic concept and introducing smart travel cards.
These smart cards are topped up with the local currency and can be used via a tap-on/tap-off system onto an electronic pad installed on each bus or at each train entrance. This quick and effective method ensures the correct amount is being charged for each journey and eliminates the need for drivers to lose their focus on driving, and count and make change. This speeds up the entire public travel commute for everyone.
Doing the laundry is a chore that almost everybody loathes to do. This is made even more tiresome for those people who must trudge down to the washing room in the basement of their apartment block with a sack full of coins.
Thankfully, there is a faster solution. A company has developed an app that connects to a device that can be quickly installed into a coin-operated washer or dryer. That device then syncs to a user's phone and charges the required amount for the task to their chosen payment method. Why not look here to see a video of this process in action.
Ok so lately there has been some negative press about the fall in the value of bitcoin, but let's face it, cryptocurrency will be the way of the future, and it has some pretty positive implications.
The reason for its future success is that it's not real money, there are no notes or coins, it's all web-based. This saves the costs of producing these space-consuming items and also the frustrating need to carry them around.
While paying for everyday things this way might be a long way off, experts predict that cryptocurrency could one day be a global currency that is the same value in every country - no more losses on exchange rates.
It's Not Far Off
With the 'pay wallets' of the big tech companies and the introduction of cards and devices that eliminate the need for coins, we can already see a massive shift in the unnecessary carrying of cash or coins. Cryptocurrency will also need to settle from its recent swings of value before it becomes a significant payment method, but that will happen.
There is still a way to go, with many vendors still resisting the move and opting to receive cash only for goods and services. However, society is moving towards being cashless, and we all need to roll with it.