For a lot of us of a certain age (let’s say for all of us who vividly remember the pre-internet years), cash has been an integral part of our lives. It was there when we bought our first candy bar, our first beer, our first taxi ride. Heck, it was there when we got our first payday. That might be the reason some of us are surprised there are people walking among us who don’t carry a dime with them.
Why would they? The rise of contactless payment and digital wallets is rendering cash useless in a lot of cities. In fact, some of us who might still be used to paying with “real” cash would feel like aliens in a place like Sweden, which has been called “the ultimate cashless society.” And though the Nordic country is still singled out as a rarity for going the cashless route, it won’t be too long before more countries join it down the same path.
What’s more, that might be even sooner than anyone could anticipate. Experts say that increasing bank charges and many branches closing down could force the financial system to ditch cash altogether before a lot of us are ready to make the shift. Besides, younger generations are accustomed to paying through digital means in a way that feels second nature to them.