If we’re coming towards the end of cash, how are some of us going to be able to pay for things?
A few times this past week I’ve given some people some money, like so many of us do. A few pound coins usually or, less usually, a note where I judge a note might be needed. I know there are bossy types around who’ll say this is doing some people no favours. But I give money to other adult humans where I decide it’s needed. Not being entirely sure how this judging of whether to give or not is done, only that I’m doing the judging and I’m free to do so. It’s my cash after all and, besides, I’ve never had any time for doing what bossy people tell me to do.
But what will I do if we’re coming to the end of cash? How will I give people a few quid?
Then another couple of times this past few days I’ve gone to pay small amounts for things, in a café and a shop, where they didn’t have much change and it was easier for them if I did that contactless thing with my debit card, like I noticed most others in their queues were doing. And these weren’t big corporates either, both of them just your typical local independent businesses I so often write about.
Businesses who don’t much deal in cash any more.
So if we’re coming to the end of cash, and it seems we are, how are some people going to be able to pay for things?
Because I’m reasonably ok, thanks very much. Most likely you are too? We’ve got some kind of income, live somewhere, and so some institutions in our economy have decided we can have bank accounts, together with the cards and privileges that go with them.
But what if we didn’t? Didn’t have these things? What if you were living below the radar where the economy, whoever that is, has sufficient confidence in us to award us its confidence. Its confidence in the shape of those little plastic cards to get by on?
How would we live? How would you pay for things?
At the moment we’d be just about ok with cash. But what if it were soon? And I was sat on the street? And no one could give me cash? Or give me the confidence of a card to pay for things? How could I live? In my day by day version of the economy, how would I get to the next morning?
If we’re coming to the end of the cash economy then, are we in danger of giving too much control to the bossy people I’ve mentioned? To the likes of those controlling the decisions of the DWP and the Home Office, to the ones who think the hard to do should be swept from the streets? To the likes of those telling us we shouldn’t be giving cash to those who ask us for it?
Have we thought this through?
Just a thought, since we seem to be approaching the end of cash.