Is Cash Dead?

October 20, 2021

Is Cash Dead?

Cash is not dead – yet. But what could the future hold for electronic payments – specifically, payment processing? Cash is certainly not dead – it’s still the biggest form of payment in the world But what does the future hold for electronic payments – specifically, payment processing as we know it?

For many years consumers have been hearing stories about the impending death of traditional notes and coins, and how all of those will be replaced by cashless society. But is cash really going anywhere? Not really.

With the advancements we’ve seen in digital technology there are still millions of everyday transactions being made with debit or credit cards.

And while many of those are probably coming from those who have “opted out” of traditional methods, the majority of those payments are still coming from those who have “chopped off” their paper trail.

Paper is certainly not going anywhere anytime soon, considering the development gap between developed and developing countries and the continuous printing of paper bills that is at an all-time high.

But What Is the Future of Payments?

The future of payments looks a lot like today. From electronic money to point of purchase and self-checkout via mobile, much of it would have occurred anyway.

What the pandemic has done is force even those that may have otherwise been slow on the pace to join a more dynamic industries and get their home and business in order to be where their money is.

As technology continues to advance faster than previously thought possible, more consumers are moving from more traditional methods of payment to debit and credit cards, with the ability to pay with plastic often outweighing cash or checks in many instances, the age of paper and coin will inevitably die out.

In an age of the internet, it’s not enough to just rely on card-based purchases. A person needs access to internet to buy things, especially items that requires a company to verify the account’s authenticity before releasing funds.

Digital Ecosystem

Today’s digital payments ecosystem can’t exist without an internet connection. A person needs to be able to make purchases on their phone, and then complete the transaction – and make payments – from anywhere they happen to be.

In the case of electronic goods, this means simply going online to perform all transactions, and using digital wallets and other software to process those purchases and exchanges securely online.

Online transactions have pushed many industries to develop more robust and secure backends for their services. Banks now routinely use cold storage in lieu of flash memory, meaning they don’t have to wait for external media such as USBs or CDs to upload any data for use in customer’s accounts.

This has always been a prime concern in the retail sector, which can now run its operations just about anywhere, but also can’t always afford to keep track of every single purchase and sale that occurs in and outside of its physical location through traditional means.

That’s why more tech companies are beginning to offer payment gateways to merchant services through the use of mobile apps.

There are even companies that offer a mobile payment platform that can integrate with hundreds of different online payment gateways, allowing consumers to complete secure transactions right from the comfort of their mobile phones.

Shoppers are increasingly making purchases on their mobile devices. With millions of consumers already carrying an iPhone or another smartphone loaded with apps, and many more using smartwatches, smartcards and other digital devices that can synch with their account information at any given time, merchants don’t need to limit their business to physical locations.

The QR payment system

The future of payments may well be filled with QR codes. These tiny transponders can be used to gain access to secure areas of websites, allowing consumers to complete secure online transactions and enter credit card information at any point in the process.

With the implementation of this technology, the future of payments could very well mark a watershed in how they are carried out. Mobile payment platforms such as Venmo, Zomni, PayPal, WorldPay and others could join forces to revolutionize the way that consumers make everyday purchases.

QR codes would not just be codes that allow people to make purchases with their credit cards. They would be multi-functional symbols that allow consumers to enter secure data, and which would then be verified by trusted third parties before the transaction is complete.

As this technology takes shape and gains traction with consumers, it has the potential to revolutionize the way businesses conduct business for decades to come.

QR codes are nothing short of a milestone in the history of contactless technology. They’re going to be everywhere in the future, as more consumers move away from the familiarity of check boxes and credit card logos to interact with these codes.

In a decade from now, the future of payments will be marked by contactless interactions, which are expected to carry over benefits to everything from transportation to real estate.
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