Since using credit/debit cards and online banking have become so popular, do you think the concept of cash will be eliminated?
I think it is a distinct possibility. Speaking from personal experience, I almost never use cash—my paycheck is deposited directly into my bank account, and I use my debit card for almost all the transactions I ever make. I think as internet purchases become more and more popular, paper money will be in less and less use. I’m not sure I think it will ever go away entirely, simply because it has such a strong and rich tradition in American culture as well as other places, and people have a hard time giving up traditions. But I do think that the convenience that comes with electronic transactions, it will be hard for paper money and coins to ever really make a comeback.
I think it’s inevitable that we will eventually stop using paper money. Like most obsolete appliances or materials in our culture (like the pay phone), new innovations cause us to change how we conduct our lives. With the fast moving pace of our daily lives, having to dig around for cash and count out change almost seems passe, just like not owning a cell phone or keeping it with you at all times. Money isn’t overly expensive to print, costing about 4 cents per note, but with online banking and bill payment becoming the norm and ATM fees for withdrawing cash, I think carrying dollars in your wallet will be history.
I think it depends on who you mean by “we”. Within America, I think you could make a strong case on for the decline of paper money, as the first poster does very well. However, one has to be careful about extrapolating conditions here, in the US for instance, on the rest of the world. According to the World Bank, almost 80% of the world’s population lives on less than $10 dollars a day, and more than half the world’s population lives on less than $2.50 per day. For much of this population, having a bank account or computer for online banking is not even a possibility at present, and, if current trends prevail, won’t be for a long time (in my opinion).
It is so interesting that you asked this…I just a few weeks ago heard an hour long program on the topic. NPR is host to This American Life (fantastic show!) and, if you want to hear some philosophical discussions on the topic of money (paperless “money included”), go to the following site: http://www.thisamericanlife.org/radio-archives/episode/423/the-invention-of-money
When we’re speaking of money, it’s actually currency we’re speaking about. At one point grain was a currency, and sadly even people have been currency. Very early on metal began to represent a stored value as it is simply easier to handle and assign with consistency. China found that paper money (banknotes) was even easier than exchanging thousands of copper coins. Paper money may be eliminated in some prosperous areas by virtue of credit, debit cards and online banking. But there will always be something that represents the value of an agreed upon thing. Just because you carry plastic – you haven’t eliminated the need for something easily carried and with access to funds with an agreed upon value, you have just elminated paper. Many countries even now do not print their own paper money
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