Many places around the world are slowly turning into cashless societies. One such country that implemented this exceptionally is China. Most of its citizens go around every day and pay for everything and anything with very popular e-wallets such as Alipay or WeChat Pay. Malaysia is no exception, there are tons of e-wallets available and widely-used throughout the country. However, there are both pros and cons of a cashless society in Malaysia.
Pros and Cons of a cashless society in Malaysia
Ability to pay the exact amount every time
Unless you love counting out coins, then carrying around the change in your pockets all day, being able to pay the exact amount for something seems like a great idea. After all, we’ve been using money for long enough that we shouldn’t have to think about bringing the right amount for the things that we want, right?
Or maybe not. Maybe you love collecting the change in a little jar, then using it to treat yourself.
The convenience of having all of your money, all the time
Carrying around all of your money all the time would suck. You’d need a plain black briefcase, probably some sort of safe, and maybe an unmarked rucksack, as well. You’d leave it on the train, get your unmarked rucksack mixed up with someone else’s… no, complete nightmare.
One huge pro of a cashless society is the ability to carry all of your money with you at all times, wherever you go. Think about that for a second. Think of being anywhere in the world, and suddenly deciding that you wanted to start a new life. Maybe you should think more carefully about it, but with all of your money right there in your pocket —and between some low Earth orbit satellites— the world is your oyster.
It’s great for touchless transactions.
Swiping a card or tapping an app eliminates the need to touch other people or equipment. For some, this is a preferable, more sanitary option. This applies especially during the current pandemic, where you would want to avoid unsanitary areas.
Older generations may struggle with unfamiliar technology
According to a survey reported in the Guardian, around 74% of those aged over 55, never use mobile banking apps. That figure is around 57% for low-income earners across all age groups.
Perhaps what this illustrates is that while going cashless might seem perfectly natural and reasonable to those of us who are familiar with fintech, there are still millions who might struggle. It’s something that all fintech startups, Revolut included, need to think about when scaling. How do we make our products more inclusive? More intuitive? More user-friendly for everyone?
Complete reliance on technology and the internet
Digital payments just don’t work without the internet. For all of the pros raised around a cashless society, perhaps the biggest con is that without cash, we would be completely reliant on continuously functioning tech, and a stable internet connection.
Just imagine your phone runs out of battery and you have no cash, that would cause a lot of unnecessary problems.
Increased risk of cyber attacks
Without cash to defraud, criminals would have no choice —assuming they didn’t want to become law-abiding citizens— but to turn to cybercrime.
Cybercriminals are not the cheeky little urchins who steal from the sweet shop, either. They’re highly organized, devious and ruthless criminals, whose goal is to steal your money either without you noticing or under the guise of something legitimate.
Revolut has an entire team dedicated to staying one step ahead of the criminals, and they’ve written about some of the things that we do on the blog recently.
By knowing the pros and cons of a cashless society, you can balance out the way you store your money. That way, you will be able to reap both the benefits of the payment methods.
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