The death of cash


Businesses with a retail presence will be interested in a piece by Andrew Fraser on the Business 7 website.

A specialist in commercial contracts with Harper Macleod, Fraser has been peering into his crystal ball and asking if cash is set to become a collector’s item. The answer is no but that may change in the near to medium term future.

It’s well worth clicking through to his piece to read in its entirety but, in brief, it weighs up how long it might take consumers to switch from chip and pin cards to near field communications technology and what that might mean for retail businesses.

Some are predicting that the wide spread of mobile and now 4G technology will mean the end of cards and cash by 2025. He points out that for tech-savvy consumers, cash is already becoming redundant.

Fraser uses the example of a San Francisco restaurant where Smartphone wielding diners can book a table, browse the menu, order, collect, eat and pay for their food all without talking to another human. That may not be the restaurant experience which many people would choose but it shows one avenue which the retail trade may take.

His recommendations for retailers to operate successfully in a cash-free society are simple: ensure security; check your terms and conditions, especially as regards customer data storage, and make sure that your system is resilient.

It sounds very straightforward. Implementing the recommendations may be less so.

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