HSBC: Cashless Society Is Coming, It Is Just a Matter of When
HSBC: Cashless Society Is Coming, It Is Just a Matter of When By Mark Melin – ValueWalk
Watching megatrends form and grow is not only fascinating but for investors can be profitable. The trend towards a cashless society, or at least a cash-lite economy, is one such trend, a societal transformation that could have a profound impact. That trend is persisting and looking promising if not unstoppable. Bank research on the topic has been generally positive, touting the benefits to society and governments as well as individuals. HSBC, out with a May report, is positive on the concept and benchmarks the trend status. A recent Baker and McKenzie article in affiliation with Euromoney Institutional Investor Thought Leadership, a financial journalism organization, raises new issues and discusses the role of crypto-currencies like Bitcoin in this process.
Bitcoin? The overwhelming benefits of a cashless society
“Have we reached peak cash?” HSBC Global Economist James Pomeroy questions in the report titled “A world without cash: The impact of the rise in electronic payments.” He sees a world in which the use of cash that is “in severe decline” as he highlights nuance in adoption rates around the world.
There are several primary benefits of a cashless society touted, mostly centering around convenience, cost efficiency, better monetary control, and security.
From a consumer standpoint, a cashless society is convenient, the speed of transactions increases with efficiency. For individuals, the cashless society “is only a good thing,” Pomeroy said in a video interview.
For business, the ability to reduce the cost associated with managing cash, particularly those retail facing operations, is a significant benefit. For governments, digital cash offers the ability to more efficiently track down tax evaders and combat crime, Pomeroy points out. Banks that don’t hold cash don’t get robbed, and generally, people carrying around a traceable digital payment method are not ideal targets for physical robbery.