There shall be a cashless society emerging within the next 3 years.
Totally, cashless. Local banks would not have physical notes nor coins. Buying goods and services are through the usage of a card system, be it credit, debit, National ID, birth certificate, driving license, or mobile phone number.
A central authority aka government’s drive can push forward this reality within the next 2-3 years. Countries such as Sweden and Singapore, and South Korea, has been one of the highest per capita users of debit and credit cards.
In Korea, it is indeed becoming a way of life in Seoul city and the metropolitan area to use T-Money, a transport card system that is used for bus, taxi, subways and buying goods and services (postal, mobile credit) from the thousands of convenience stores. Convenience stores exist in every street corner. Buy The Way, GS25, C U, Mini Stop, Family Mart. Lunch boxes, drinks, milk drinks, yogurt, alcohol, soju, beer, maekju, bokbunja.
Why would a country eliminate physical notes of cash and coins?
Firstly, it will save cost. No more printing and minting. That would be an enormous savings on expenses, transportation, storage, security, re-printing, distribution. Just imagine if you were a milk supplier, you have production of milk, keeping it cool, distributing it on time to various locations. With money or cash, that applies with more complexity and thus cost.
A small business selling cosmetics would have to literally walk daily from their branch to a bank deposit machine or bank branch, to deposit the day’s earnings, exposing the staff to risks. Without cash, everything is accounted online. Every record is tracked online. Every final value is verified.
No more losing coins. Coins get lost all the time. Sometimes on purpose. It becomes a matter of contention some years ago when a country decided to change their lowest denominated coin value. Losing coins will no longer be the case, with everything being paid online, no need for small change.
But what about the disadvantages?
With a cashless system, every in and out of a person, is fully trackable by the government. The government can track every won that you have, earn, donate, use.
If you sold something on eBay, or second hand goods to a friend. Your old stamp collections. It is paid online. It is tracked when there is incoming payment. The government can literally label it as an income.
You helped a friend fix their washing machine. You get a thank you tip. It could be labeled as money laundering.
You bought 3 phones online. You could be labeled as trying to make a suspicious electronic detonation device.
Our whole life was corralled or designed, from the first day of schooling – to seek money. TO earn money. TO give alms or sacrifice part of the earnings as a token called taxes. We were taught the benefits, the importance of taxes. But we were never told what is the meaning of money. What is the meaning of life? It became seamless. Like a frog in a stew.
The other part is to lead us into believing it is necessary to take up insurance, buy a car, buy a house – basically getting into various debts.
The Matrix movie (at least the first movie) isn’t off that mark after all. We are born, then immediately connected to suction cups. Suckling pigs. Harvesting. The brain and mind is locked into this endless cycle of chasing money, that is supposed to be useful for the future.
Then what is the meaning of money? What is the meaning of life? Your time and freedom?