Are We Ready for a Cashless Society?

I love using Pay for financial transactions, and wish it worked everywhere. A few weeks ago, I went to Kroger to pick up something I needed for dinner. Sadly, when I arrived at the checkout, I realized I forgot my money clip, which has my cash and my important credit cards. If Kroger accepted Pay, I would have been able to check out, but instead I pushed my cart off to the side, and drive back home to get my cash / card.

Earlier this week, I read this in the AP News:

Cash-free stores are generating a backlash among some activists and liberal-leaning policymakers who say the practice discriminates against people like Figueroa, who either lack bank accounts or rely on cash for many transactions.

Figueroa, an ironworker, had to stand to the side, holding his taco, until a sympathetic cashier helped him find another customer willing to pay for his meal with a card in exchange for cash.

“I had money and I couldn’t pay,” he said.

The issue got some high-profile attention this week when retail giant Amazon bowed to pressure from activists and agreed to accept cash at more than 30 cashless stores, including its Amazon Go convenience stores, which have no cashiers, and its book shops. Amazon declined to say when the change would happen. (As cashless stores grow, so does the backlash, AP NEWS)

I heard this discussed on a podcast this week too. The point that was made is that cashless operation is discriminatory toward lower income families. This sure resonates with me and I can see it as a big issue. I’m not sure how to solve this issue.

That being said, we found a way to make cell phones available for people with poor credit, so you would think we could find a way to resolve this one, but it will be a while before we can have a totally cashless society. That’s my opinion.

~ Rick

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©2019 Rick Cartwright

Rick Cartwright