I was having a chat
with an established figure in the industry at Vendex last month. We were discussing the necessity of offering cashless options across all machines in 2019 and began discussing the expanding nature of automatic retail stores that seem to be a looming threat on the retail horizon.
I thought it would be interesting to look into the current state of public opinion on the issue of automation and payment, so I started googling the most obvious example for a potential automated future: Amazon Go…
Amazon is supporting cash payments in it’s New York ‘Go’ store.
It seems that, in the US at least, cashless is proving to be a questionable prospect, mainly due to a large number of citizens who don’t use bank accounts (7-8% of the population).
Some areas, Like San Francisco have gone as far as to ban cashless stores to protect those without bank accounts; who would be unable to use the stores at all.
A Different picture in the UK
In Britain and Europe at large, a different picture is developing. Since contactless methods account for 40% of all card payments in the UK (UK Finance, 2019), it looks like we’re on track for cash-free future if this Business Cloud article is to be believed.
Or are we…?
Statistics identify that e-wallets, accessed using smartphones, are the new way to pay for second world countries, and there’s no reason these systems will not propagate further around the world in years to come.
What Are We To Believe?
You’ll find conflicting predictions and actions. Take the above predictions from multiple organisations and contrast this with the treasury’s recent decision to continue to mint 1 and 2 pence coins. Uncertainty seems to reign at the moment, both at home and abroad.