— 16th October 2003
I don’t tend to carry much cash. It’s partly a kind of lazy, forgetfullness, in that I forget and can’t be bothered to check whether I have any and to stock up at a cash machine. It’s partly coz I don’t regularly need it. What with free coffee at work and a packed lunch to eat, often weeks pass without me actually having to bother with physical money at all. The other big reason why I don’t is because so many of the things I might buy are purchasable via Switch or Visa and therefore reducing the need to carry any kind of real cash
Also I read this article about how soon you’ll be able to pay for things (even very small things) using only a pin number and your mobile phone the other day.
If we really did stop using money, what will Big Issue sellers do? I suppose things must be pretty bad already but if this really is a trend then could the days when it’s viable to sell the Big Issue on the streets be numbered?
I’ve heard of the “means of production” and I know I should be concerned about who owns them, but what about the "means of remuneration". What if someone owns or controls all the ways we can pay for stuff? Wouldn’t that give them power of what we could or couldn’t choose to buy?
If Switch, Visa and the mobile companies were to get together and do some kind of big deal and start equiping all the shops with new tills and cash registers which don’t require cash at all, then everything from buying a can of Coke, to buying a train ticket, to buying a TV or a Car could become completely cashless trasactions. Could there come a point where physical money wasn’t really carried anymore. Even if it was still available.
What would this mean for Big Issues sellers, and local markets other people who rely on your having to pay with cash? What would it mean for beggars?