The Cashless Society

Aug 24, 2016

I took a trip to one of London’s major retail outlets, there wasn’t anything particularly unusual about my trip but an unplanned excursion to the men’s accessory section sparked a glaring realization.

By-gone era – a money-clip

I had intended the purpose of my trip to Oxford Street to be the purchase of a new shirt; a poorly fastened coffee cup lid had led to the unexpected retirement of a previous favorite. However, I soon found myself wandering away from the bountiful shirt section and towards the glittering lure of the nearby collection of tie-clips, cufflinks, watches and the like. It was here where I came across a relic from a by-gone era – a money-clip.

It was this discovery that led to the realization that inspired this blog post – not only is cash becoming somewhat redundant, it is harming our economy. Of course, finding this unashamedly audacious accessory didn’t immediately spark this realisation, but it did spark a train of thought, one that I will retrace in this post.

‘Cash-free’ life

My first reaction was to attempt to remember the last time I used cash, or at least enough to warrant a sterling silver money clip. I come from quite a small town in the West Midlands where the necessity for cash has been, until recently, absolute. That experience is in direct contrast to my current life in London, a bustling hub of early adopters, where thanks to; the work of a few disruptive Start-Ups, Apple, Google and the payment Networks (Visa, Mastercard, Amex), I can comfortably go about my day to day life with just an untouched, emergency ‘tenner’ in my wallet. Debit/Credit cards, Oyster Cards, Contactless Payments, Peer to Peer payments, Crypto Currencies and Digital wallets have all contributed to the ‘cash-free’ life I live in London. I did however sometimes find myself waiting, very British-ly, in a queue for a cash machine when I knew a taxi journey would be unavoidable, an activity that , thanks to the services of ‘Uber’ and ‘Hailo’, is becoming far less frequent.


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