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Consumers could be entering a cashless society

April 2, 2012

Most businesses now accept debit and credit cards, making it easy to pay without cash. Through ecommerce, customers can buy merchandise through a virtual credit card terminal without ever seeing a vendor.

Most businesses now accept debit and credit cards, making it easy to pay without cash. Through ecommerce, customers can buy merchandise through a virtual credit card terminal without ever seeing a vendor. New payment technology could make it possible for consumers to not have to carry cards or cash at all, instead paying remotely with phones via mobile credit card processing. These trends have left some analysts wondering if we could be entering a cashless society.

A writer for Slate Magazine, Seth Stevenson, believes that we might be coming closer to this reality. In fact, the number of consumers paying with cards is steadily increasing.

Visa’s Global Payment Tracking Survey 2011 showed debit cards were catching up to cash in terms of popularity. Participants in the study said they used debit cards for nearly half of their monthly expenditures, excluding mortgage and rent payments.

A cashless society wouldn’t necessarily be a bad thing, either, Stevenson points out. Using cards instead of cash could save printing and distribution costs, and could also cut back on crime, since $100 bills are the preferred payment method of criminals, according to Technology Review. 

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