Will tech take over cash?

Cash used to be king, but is it about to be dethroned by technology?

The Reserve Bank of Australia is producing new $5 and $10 notes and the demise of the five-cent piece is on the horizon. The new notes have some outstanding technological developments, including clever new security and tactile features for the vision impaired. But what is the future of cash and will we ever become a cashless society?

It has been said if cash did disappear in the US then the world would go into a massive recession. The underground economy in the US is so big, it could send the world broke if it came to a sudden halt.

A simple indicator of the impact of smartphones on society has been the decline in public phones. Everyone now carries their own phone, so they rarely have use for a public phone, let alone the coins to operate them. And if they do lose their phone, they can easily borrow one from a friend, colleague or stranger. Another example of technology influencing our use of money are toll booths. They now use radio frequency tags linked to bank accounts to collect your road tolls, there’s not a toll collector in sight.

In fact, technology, has become so convenient, it’s hard to ignore – especially when there’s not an automated teller machine or cashpoint in site, but you can download an app from almost anywhere. Tap n Go and payWave technology has taken off much faster than expected with people preferring to wave their credit card for small items they once reserved for cash payment.

But for lovers of real cash, the good news is it’s not dead yet. Cash is unlikely to disappear any time soon. Many nationalities in the community still prefer cash over other payment technologies. And cash is still an efficient way of paying for small transactions. Interestingly, the demand for $50 and $100 notes is soaring with people holding cash as a form of wealth in safes and safe deposit facilities.

If you enjoy the feel of cash and prefer to use it to pay for things, rather than use plastic or smart devices, you still have time to enjoy it. But we suspect any kids born this century will have very different habits and be asking their grandparents to explain what a bank note or dollar coin looked like when they were kids.

To learn more about how people are now banking on smart devices or brush up on some RACQ Bank’s latest tech advancements.

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