Does anyone remember the paperless office and why that didn’t work? How about the predictions back in the 1960s that one day our cars would be driving themselves down our roadways while we sat reading a book? These and other predictions never came to pass because we as a society were not ready for them. Yesterday, I read with interest an article on the Slate site that seemed to suggest that a new application called Card Case would make cash and credit cards obsolete.

Here are five reasons why I personally believe that this will not happen:

  • Since before the time of Christ, coins have been used to barter for the exchange of goods and services. Later paper money was introduced and became an accepted form of payment, used throughout the world, for the purchase of goods and services. Later still, credit cards were introduced. Because of the fees attached to these cards, however, some businesses still refuse to honor them — meaning that cash still remains king. (That’s something anyone in a drug cartel will attest to!)
  • To totally become a cashless or credit cardless society, every store and business would need to upgrade their systems to handle applications of every kind, including everything from purchases to paying their own bills. Therefore, in a time of economic uncertainty such as we are currently experiencing, I would doubt that all businesses would be in the financial position to do this any time soon.
  • Not everyone has a smart phone or is able to afford to purchase one, which would mean that they would be unable to make purchases or pay their monthly mortgage. In my opinion, businesses and stores would not want to alienate an entire segment of society just because they did not have the financial ability to purchase a smart phone.
  • Then you have to consider those individuals who have bad or no credit. How could these individuals qualify to use an application without a secured account to insure payment for the purchases they make? Remember that these consumers are the ones who rely on payday loan payment centers that cater to the segment of our society that lives paycheck to paycheck.
  • Additionally, these cards could lead to higher prices. For instance, today when we use a credit card, the merchant pays a fee for the transaction through the credit card company or bank.Therefore, if an individual could not pay with cash and credit cards were discontinued, every transaction via a smart phone application would have to carry a fee of some type. This means if you bought a pack of gum, a candy bar, or that favorite latte, all would need to be charged higher fees for purchases.

Personally, I would prefer having an application on my smart phone to make purchases of any kind, but the reality is that I seriously doubt that this program will garner any kind of public support since it seems impossible that cash or credit cards will disappear overnight.

Comments welcome.