Imagine a cash-free society where digital transactions replace paper currency. Clearly we are heading closer and closer to that reality as more and more devices—from gas pumps to subways, make it easier to use electronic readers than to hand over coins and dollar bills.
Banks, credit card companies, and start-ups like Square are huge advocates of increasing the number of opportunities to pay digitally, rather than with the old fashioned coins and paper money that’s been around since the 1600’s.
Another surprising advocate is Bjoern Ulvaeus, former member of 1970's pop group ABBA. If he has his way, we might get rid of printing bank notes all together. Known for their hit song “Money, Money, Money,” ABBA’s Ulvaeus says “Take a Chance on Me” and think about the possibilities.
"I can't see why we should be printing bank notes at all anymore," says Ulvaeus. In Sweden, Ulvaeus’ home country, they are getting darn close to a cashless society. Public buses don't accept cash; tickets are prepaid or purchased with a cell phone text message. And reportedly, a growing number of businesses only take cards, and some bank offices have stopped handling cash altogether.
Banks that don’t take cash?
Even some churches in Sweden are installing card readers, replacing the offering plate.
The ABBA singer things all of this is great news, and sees the biggest advantage of a cashless society is around security. In fact, the Swedish Bankers' Association says the shrinkage of the cash economy is already making an impact in crime statistics.
The number of bank robberies in Sweden plunged from 110 in 2008 to 16 in 2011 – the lowest level since it started keeping records 30 years ago. It says robberies of security transports are also down.
Of course, the flip side of the coin <pun intended> is a potential increase in cyber theft. The more digital transactions, the greater the reward in putting a cyber hand in a digital cookie jar.
But the reality is, digital currency is The Name of the Game.
Source: The Huffington Post