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Society without cash

Posted July. 18, 2018 07:39,   

Updated July. 18, 2018 07:39


The central bank of the United States “printed out” trillions of dollars during the 2008 global financial crisis of 2008. It is merely an act of entering numbers into the world’s online financial network through computer key board by securing the United States’ credit as collateral. Currency is now transacted through “waves” that can be expressed as 0 and 1 in the digital world, rather than “particles” of materials, such as bills or coins.

M-Pesa, which was established by Kenya’s leading mobile network provider Safaricom and the United Kingdom’s Vodafone in 2007, provides mobile banking that allows customers to use their mobile phones as a channel for their banking services such as deposits and transfers. By using this mobile banking service, Afghanistan’s police officers could receive a 30 percent raise in their wage. This was possible as the Afghan government paid police officers directly into their mobile account, which would otherwise have been pocketed by police leadership. Thanks to such mobile banking service, developing countries could not only decrease corruption but also increase tax yield. While it is difficult to track corruption and tax evasion in cash, mobile money is trackable as each transaction is recorded.

Starbucks is operating “cashless stores” exclusively in Korea from Monday. Starbucks Korea said that its cashless stores are 103 as of Monday and the rate of cash transaction fell to a 0.2-percent level in its pilot operation of three cashless stores. An average of 25 hours per month that was used to calculate cash is now used to strengthen service. Starbucks, which plans to allow the use of virtual currency, has chosen Korea as the test bed.

“Cashless Society” is not so welcome, however, to those who do not want their financial transactions to be disclosed, or elders, who are familiar with using cash. “Rejecting to use cash not only damages the status of the People’s Money but also harms the consumer’s right to make choices,” the People’s Bank of China said Friday. With multiple virtual currencies appearing these days, the right to use cash is still necessary despite the fact that currency transformation is inevitable.

Se-Jin Jung mint4a@donga.com