Friday 20 July 2018

Is Cash Really King?

Our government has been advocating for cashless payments and banks have also released many cashless platform. As the saying goes, Cash Is King and in Singapore, it definitely is so. With various platforms being introduced, we are slowly moving to being cashless but for the older generation like my mum, going cashless and paperless would take a much longer time.
 My mum have actually received numerous letters and online messages that her bills and account notifications would soon be turned into online statements which she can access to. And of course, she isn’t too comfortable being as to check her balance and bills online so I have been delaying them for her by ending back that she still requires hard copy for references.

However, I feel that sooner or later she would have to accept the fact that everything is going paperless and she will need to go online t check. I do understand why she is so against going paperless because she doesn’t have any online banking accounts and uses a bank book. With years of having hard copy and thing being presented to her, suddenly asking her to switch would be difficult.

I visit the NTUC at Singpost centre frequently and the supermarket is currently reducing the amount of cashiers needed. Even though you are allowed to use cash as a payment method, it made me think of how things are evolving right now. Moving on, I went to my neighboring NTUC and saw that they had the "robot" cashiers around beside the human cashiers, its frightening yet mind-intriguing how jobs can be evolved and change all to a machine.

If for me, all this seems so fast and new, what must it feel for the older generations, although I am say that I have slow in adapting to changes. For me, when I first created my bank accounts, I have no such thing as a bank book as I received a bank token and had access to ibanking (internet banking). There are definitely some advantages and disadvantages to that.


Convenience and Time

1. In going paperless and cashless, I believe that time definitely can be saved. Currently, my mum uses the AXS machines to pay for her bills and so every time she gets a bill, she has to bring it to the AXS to pay. Of course there is GIRO right now and I have tried convincing my mum to switch over however she says that she needs to check her bills physically to make sure no additional charges are being deducted. GIRO would make her not check her bills.

2. For me, I have also gone cashless but only in terms of card payments. I haven't gotten to using my phone to pay for my purchases yet where you can incorporate your bank or credit card drtails into your phone. I definitely can see myself using cashless payments because it is so convenient. Going to a supermarket and paying like a boss at the cashier with my card and small change is not needed.


Reliant on platforms and people who have no access to technology

1.  Cashless payment is very much dependent on the platform it is on and this can cause trouble. Cash on the other hand is accessible anytime and once you have it, you can use it without a platform. I have experienced situations like this before where payment platforms are not available. Most people think of fast food restaurant as having many different modes of payment.

However, if you have been to a Mos Burger outlet you would realise that they only accept NETS. And it so happen on the day that i visited that the NETS machine was down. I was out of cash and needed to go withdraw to be able to pay. There was also a disruption in NETS services early this year.

2. Another thing about going cashless is about inclusiveness of people in the lower spectrum of the society. For example, to have access to a credit card in Singapore, a minimum annual income is usually required of about $30 000. This means that people who are earning less than that wouldn't usually apply for a credit card. There are also people mostly elderly who do not own a smartphone. This means they are not able to get the relevant apps required.

As we move towards being a more technology-savvy and to increase our competitiveness, we should also have ways that can be more inclusive towards those who have a higher difficulty to transit to being cashless. We are currently still heavy on our cash and with the different kinds of cashless payments popping up, How many cashless platforms are you using currently?

No comments:

Post a Comment