The Death of Cash

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Some time ago I wrote about a Nielsen prediction that 90% of financial transactions would be cashless (digital) by the year 2020. Judging by the chart above it looks like they were on the money.

So what’s next? I’d expect coins to slowly vanish. Next will come notes. Both forms of cash will still exist in the future but they will be somewhat unusual outside of the black economy. Logically one would then expect paper bills (phone bills, bank statements and so on) to similarly verge on extinction. I’d also expect some regional digital currencies to emerge cumulating in a handful of Euro equivalents, or perhaps a single global digital currency.

Thanks to Andrew Crosthwaite for the killer chart by the way.

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2 Responses to The Death of Cash

  1. Matt Moore says:

    Paper bills are almost extinct (for me). Nearly all my utility bills & 60% of my bank statements are electronic.

    What about the humble receipt? My wallet is full of those things. Very disorganised…

    Japan’s an interesting case – one of the most technologically advanced societies in the world and yet transactions are still predominantly cash-based. I wouldn’t count cash out just yet – it’ll probably be one of the “lumpy” areas in the future.

  2. Richard Watson says:

    I kinda agree. Japan is weird. On the one hand it’s like a scene from Blade Runner while on the other there are guys counting things with abacuses. I think people also rather like national cash currencies. Links to thoughts of nationhood. Look at the reaction to the euro! Same could be said for physical books and newspapers over digital equivalents. I like the word ‘lumpy’ btw. The future is lumpy….

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