How Digital Money Could End Society
Unless you have managed to avoid the internet entirely, you’ve probably heard a bit about Amazon Prime’s award-winning show, Mr Robot. This series follows the idea of a society which collapses when hackers delete digital finance records from one of the biggest corporations in the world, leaving economic chaos. But what would cause society to shut down in the real world? Could it be a forced switch to digital money? Let’s look at what would happen.
Homeless and Charities Would Suffer
The first thing that would happen is that people who normally receive physical cash would suffer. What do you do with your loose change? Many of us consider dropping it in a charity tin, or at the feet of a homeless person. It won’t be so simple to do that anymore if you don’t have any physical money on you. Making a transfer to an e-reader might be possible, but not everyone will want to do it. Why? Because of the security issues.
Security Would be a Concern
In a recent study conducted by Cartridge Save, it was discovered that only 30% of adults in the UK currently use digital wallets. Their main reason for not doing so was that they were worried about security. It’s clear that it will be hard to keep track of safety measures if all money is stored in our phones. What if your phone gets stolen? What if your wallet is hacked? These are concerns that need to be addressed more thoroughly before most people would want to switch to using this method of payment, particularly exclusively.
Older People Would Struggle
In the study conducted, it was the over 65s who were the most concerned about switching to digital solutions. They are not as sure about the safety aspect as younger people, and they may also struggle with using technology. What happens when you are no longer able to collect your pension because you don’t understand the format it comes in? Older people are also more susceptible to online fraud, which would become even more of a concern in a cashless society.
Phones Would Become Hugely Valuable
If all your money is stored on your phone, it will become an even more valuable part of your life. Think about it: it would become your means of contact with friends and family, your way to access the internet, your bank and wallet, and many other things besides. It’s easy to imagine a black market in stolen phones becoming hugely valuable. A quick hacker would be able to take control of your whole life and all of your savings in a matter of moments once they got their hands on your device. Plus, retailers would be able to increase the cost of a new phone by a large amount, especially if it came with built-in security software and easy wallet access.
Battery Life Would Be a Commodity
Not only would phones themselves be more expensive, but you would also see battery life traded as a commodity. Even now, there are certain places where you can pay to put your phone on charge for a while. There would no longer be free access to charging anywhere if your phone was also your wallet! It would become vital that you keep your phone charged up at all times, and you would be stuck without it. Imagine what it would be like to run out of battery away from home, with no money or phone to call for help!
Society might not break down entirely without cash, but it’s clear we are a long way from being ready for it.