The end of cash?

Contributed by Andre Bermon, Publisher of the bridge. When was the last time you paid with money? Was it before the pandemic? Then you are not alone. It’s no surprise that societal changes caused by Covid-19 will long outlast the coronavirus. Months of lockdown measures have accelerated trends that might have otherwise taken years to manifest.

 
One quickly evolving phenomenon is where and how consumers spend money.

 
According to statista.com, an online portal for statistics, between March 11 and May 3 Canadian online sales of household appliances, electronics, building materials and do-it-yourself items skyrocketed by 625 percent compared with the same period in 2019. Furniture sales went up 336 percent and clothing by 175 percent.

 
Businesses that have remained open are encouraging contactless payment, i.e., with debit and credit cards, while food courier apps and other delivery services have proliferated among grocery chains. Restaurants’ online food sales have increased by 203 percent; however, their overall business has drastically declined.

 
Why aren’t people using cash?

 
During the pandemic, many small businesses in Toronto have refused to accept hard currency over concerns that coins and plastic bills help spread the virus. Elsewhere, hard-hit countries like Spain have seen cash volumes plummet as much as 90 percent.

 
Since the start of the pCovid-19 has put considerable doubt on the long-term viability of carrying money in physical form – a practice going back 3,000 years to Mesopotamia.

 
What does a cashless society look like? And should we welcome it?

 
Gary Cohn, a former director of the U.S. National Economic Council, argues in a letter published in the Financial Times that the benefits of going cashless are “way beyond those of health and safety.” All-digital cashflows would not only diminish illicit enterprise, he writes, but would help common folk better organize their taxes. (Two reasons any government would love such a system.)

 
On the other hand, the drawbacks are immediate and far-reaching. Every digital and card purchase can be tracked and catalogued, letting consumer habits be measured and controlled by keystrokes. And those unfortunately lacking access would be excluded from commerce of any kind.

 
The pandemic has given digital currency a huge nudge – a disruptive shift and a leap towards a technocratic future. Society should be wary of such an outcome.

TwitterGoogle+FacebookLinkedInDiggStumbleUponBlogger PostDeliciousShare

Other News

gallery-arcturus

Gallery Arcturus Cover

Ed Drass is a former writer for daily newspapers who now acts as guide for   visitors to Gallery Arcturus, a not-for-profit contemporary art exhibition centre funded and operated by The Foundation for … [Read More...]

PSN22-aug-cover

Hello Readers

Coming out of the summer, our September edition can always be a toss-up. We usually feature all the Cabbagetown festival stuff...but the Bia has something exciting planned. We received some great … [Read More...]

duncin-fremlin-gordon-sinclair

(no title)

Maybe it’s because I’m the son of a man born in 1906, shortly after Queen Victoria died.  Dad was sired out of a mixed marriage between a Scot from Inverness and an Anglo from Kent.  There’s something … [Read More...]

ward11-university-rosedale

Why Not Pete Lovering?

Contributed by Pete Lovering , PSN Publisher and now officially a politician. Although many people have suggested I run in the Toronto Centre over the years, I have decided to throw my hat in the ring … [Read More...]

rogerandco

Fall Find – Rogers & Company

Contributed by David Lavictoire, Brand Associate, Rogers & Company  The days might be starting to shorten, but it’s still too early to break out the parkas! Celebrate the end of summer with these … [Read More...]

wallied

Sunday in the Park – August 14th

Contributed by Walied Khogali Ali, Co-Chair - Community Building Working Group - SDP. On Sunday, August 14th 2022 - thousands of residents attended the beloved community celebration known as Sunday in … [Read More...]

parkscape-3

If it Sounds Too Good to be True

Contributed by Virginia Gallop, Executive Director, Cabbagetown BIA. Photo credit Marion Voysey Photography. We all know that old adage, and how rarely does it ever fail to be the case. I’m not … [Read More...]

Conciliabule Berkeley1

GETTING TO KNOW YOU

Cabbagetown is a neighbourhood of beauty, heritage, cultural diversity and inclusion. We are Anita Bostok and Norman Hathaway and we’re proud to contribute this regular feature where you get to know … [Read More...]

Tony-Lafazanis

Suing A Loved one

Contributed by Tony Lafazanis www.TLLawCanHelp.com In Ontario, there seems to be a taboo about bringing a legal claim against a loved one. Litigation is seen as conflict, so bringing a claim against … [Read More...]

daycare-training

Daycare Connection

Partnering with Caregivers and Families to Provide Access to the Canada-Wide National Childcare Plan.  At Daycare Connection one of the comments we hear is how challenging navigating the childcare … [Read More...]

don-vlley-art-club

Nice to get feedback

Hi Peter, Although my email to you has been slow in getting out, the tardiness does not reflect our immense gratitude to you and the Parliament Street News. We appreciate your willingness to work … [Read More...]

fatoush1

Getting To Know you

Cabbagetown is a neighbourhood of beauty, heritage, cultural diversity and inclusion. We are Anita Bostok and Norman Hathaway and we’re proud to contribute this regular feature where you get to know … [Read More...]

cabbagetown-farmers-market

Cabbagetown Farmers Market

Contributed by Ellie Ruggles, Market Manager, Cabbagetown Farmers’ Market. - Mark your calendars! The first market day for the Cabbagetown Farmers’ Market will be Tuesday June 14 from 3pm – 7pm, rain … [Read More...]