In the past decade, the number of people with cash in their wallet has decreased significantly. Instead of cash, more people than ever are using debit and credit cards for purchases. The following guide explores some of the benefits of a cashless society.
Cash is inconvenient for a variety of reasons. It takes time to run a cash transaction when buying food or going to the grocery store. Physical money can transmit bacteria and viruses, increasing the risk of illness among vulnerable populations. In addition, physical cash can be very expensive to secure and transport.
In the United States, there are an estimated 55,000 armored vehicles on the road. These vehicles are used to pick up cash from a variety of businesses and deliver it to a bank. Most armored vehicles are driven by armed security guards. Every year, an estimated 25 armored vehicles in the United States are robbed. Sometimes, these robberies even result in murder.
Cash is an expensive business, from the time it’s printed to the time that it’s destroyed. It costs taxpayers an estimated 2 cents to just produce one penny. Many people don’t even save pennies. If you have a penny or two in your pocket, they may as well go in the trash. Print currency can be expensive too. While print currency could be printed on regular paper at one time, modern print currency requires specialized fibers, holographic designs, and other elements which can significantly boost manufacturing costs.
Currency can also cost a lot of money when it is damaged or destroyed. If an individual’s physical cash is damaged by flood or fire, the United States Treasury will replace any bill as long as at least 51% of it still exists. Unfortunately, the process of examining hundreds of thousands of bills each year costs taxpayers millions of dollars.
Eliminating cash would reduce crime and reduce costs for securing, counting and transporting large amounts of physical money. With a cashless society, we would no longer have to worry about the many downsides of physical money. There would be no worries about cash being stolen or damaged, and there would be no need for expensive safes and banks to store cash.
While physical cash may always play at least a minor role in society, replacing it with cashless systems will benefit everyone, from consumers to businesses to government.