·  Legal News, Analysis, & Commentary


How Cashless Society Is Changing Our Lives (for the Better)

— August 5, 2020

Cash is leaving the scene, that is certain. However, there is no possibility of it perishing for good any time soon. If physical money is going to become the thing of the past, we must change our society first. Until then it is going to linger, even as a marginal option. 

If the past two decades taught us anything, it is that the world is changing fast. A 40-year-old person remembers the times before the Internet. Before cell phones. Before the time our global economy was within everyone’s reach.

For someone born in the 90’s or later, it is hard to imagine that slow-paced, intimate world and its limitations. The immersion into the world wide web has become an integral part of everyone’s lives, and irreversibly formed the way we think.

That being said, it is still hard to comprehend the inner workings of the global economic market. It is evolving at an insane pace and it is often hard to see the shape of things to come. One of the most important factors of this change is that cash is becoming a thing of the past.

When cash becomes an anachronism, who will benefit? How will society look and what possibilities will this change bring to the average person? This discussion is a burning issue, and opinions are often conflicted. Luckily, we can watch Sweden undergo this transition in real time and draw our own conclusions.

Ease of access

Digital payments offer a very flexible system. Whether it’s the “old fashioned” credit and debit cards or the more innovative mobile payment methods, sending or receiving money is intuitive and fast. There are no trips to the bank, no checks and no middle man. Every transaction is seamless and straightforward.

Furthermore, digital payment through smartphones is an ever growing trend. (Global System for Mobile Communications) GSMA estimated that by 2025, the number of unique mobile subscribers will include more than 70% of the world’s population, 80% of which will be smartphone users. This means 4.5 billion people will have access to mobile payments.

The most important factor in using digital payments is globalization. Purchasing goods from anywhere in the world became simple and straightforward since most online stores offer purchases in GBP, EUR and USD and affordable worldwide shipping. E Wallet market is very competitive, meaning that fees and conversion rates become more and more affordable.


Cashless transactions offer much more security than carrying paper money around. Credit and debit cards are easy to use and relatively secure. Stealing cash is much easier than using someone’s card, and if a card gets stolen, you can immediately freeze any transactions. The system is not perfect, but it still brings more security to an average user.

Using a mobile payment system brings even more security to the users. Breaking into someone’s phone is a whole new level of impossible. Of course, the level of protection depends only on you, and it shouldn’t be taken lightly. 

Another important aspect of cashless payment is the insight it provides to the user. You can easily track your spending habits, limit transactions and decide which vendors are trusted. In the future, we might be able to control how our children spend money by restricting purchases from fast-food stores or making it impossible to use mobile payments for buying alcohol and cigarettes.

Silhouette of family against graphic of city surrounded by gears; image by Geralt, via
Silhouette of family against graphic of city surrounded by gears; image by Geralt, via

Digital wallets came to the market as a logical consequence of online transactions. The idea is to offer a safe proxy between the bank account and online payments. These services can be used in a form of mobile payment methods, such as Android Pay, Samsung Pay and Apple Pay, but they also offer debit cards and vouchers that are backed by VISA and MasterCard.

The popularity of digital wallets lies in their adaptability. Services like PayPay, Skrill and Payoneer offer a lot to the customers, from storing money in different currencies to managing cryptocurrencies. When the financial trends change as fast as they do these days, flexibility is the biggest advantage in the game.

Digital wallets are still evolving to keep up with the everchanging market. As digital payments and digital currencies are becoming a norm world-wide, many countries are updating regulations to help control and secure new ways of financial transactions. Sweden is currently in the process of introducing a new, all digital currency called E-Krona, which can give a good example to others.


Cashless society means every transaction you make is completely transparent. Authorities love this as it gives full control over every little bit of our information. Tax evasion becomes practically impossible in this scenario, which is a wet dream of every government anywhere.

But the concerns tied to electronic transactions are very real, and should be everyone’s concern. The main question here is, how much do people really trust their government? Who has the right to our data and to what extent? Regulation of data privacy is an essential question and needs to be done correctly for worldwide implementation of cashless transactions.

In the world where personal information is shamelessly sold to third parties, it is easy to imagine a scenario where someone can get hold of sensitive personal data for financial gain. Generally speaking, transparency is a good thing but personal information and track records should remain visible only for ethical purposes and be strictly limited to authorities.


Everyone agrees that, in theory, the cashless system is very likely to reduce crime. All cashless transactions are tracked by the banks and the government has a complete insight to who is spending money and on what. This makes money laundering much more difficult, if not impossible.

Cash payments make a significant portion of illegal money flow because they are untraceable. Purchasing contraband of any sort is much harder when all transactions are cashless. While some will find this view naive, it is clear that the cashless system will make criminals jump through many more hoops.

Some experts see bitcoin as an obvious way to circumvent the system. Paying with cryptocurrencies can be anonymous and therefore impossible to use by the government. This is more myth than truth. 

Cryptocurrencies can be tracked with no possibility of data altering, and digital signatures can contain info about the sender and the receiver. Recent evaluations showed that there are legal remedies if the government accepts cryptocurrencies as a valid payment method. 

Is cash really going to perish?

The simple answer would be a hard no. There is still a large portion of the population, even in the developed world, that doesn’t own a bank account. Using digital payments or even owning a bank account can be unnecessary and even troublesome for a majority of reasons. Those who are under or close to the poverty line don’t have much use of it.

In the US, about 8% of the population doesn’t own a bank account of any sort. A cashless society would impact this demographic group the most, since they would be forced to use vouchers. This method includes high fees that puts poor people into an even harder situation.

Another important aspect is looking at the average person’s buying habits. While the majority of our purchases can be made in stores, using digital wallets, sometimes we just want to buy goods from roadside stalls. Using credit cards and E Wallets is unnecessary, even troublesome in such scenarios.

Many countries still have traditional markets which are essential to the economy. Changing how people buy and sell their goods can be much more costly than keeping a certain amount of paper money in circulation.


A striking fact is that the number of people without a credit card in the US is rising. Millennials refuse to use them and prefer good old cash instead. More than 60% of Millennials don’t own a major credit card. This trend is not seen in the rest of the world. On the contrary, countries like India, China and Russia have experienced an exponential growth in digital transaction usage.

The exchange of goods is older than currency, and might make a big comeback if cash perishes altogether. Cryptocurrencies like bitcoin will definitely take a fair portion of the market, too. No matter how ethical the society wants to be, everyone wants to purchase certain goods and services as discreetly as possible.

Even today, the exchange of bitcoin is routinely done between companies and individuals. Institutions and vendors accepting bitcoin as a valid payment method grows exponentially as cryptocurrencies gain stability. 


Cash is leaving the scene, that is certain. However, there is no possibility of it perishing for good any time soon. If physical money is going to become the thing of the past, we must change our society first. Until then it is going to linger, even as a marginal option. 

With the introduction of all-digital currencies, we will definitely see cryptocurrencies as one of the major players. It might evolve and adapt to regulation, but in its essence, crypto still offers a solid, incorruptible concept that has major advantages over government-issued currency.

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