Cashless Payments

You may have noticed that less and less cash is being circulated and this is being replaced by contact-less cards, and now cashless payments will be made by your phone device. Now how does this affect community development or development information which I usually blog about. Financial exclusion is a term, where you have little access to money (if any at all) or to financial services such as a bank account or building society. Most people with Bank Accounts, access to financial services and activity are seen as financially included.

In the UK, if you have bad credit or otherwise you may be prevented from opening or accessing bank account facilities. Some people have never had a bank account and this is prevalent in the black community, Yard and foreign (sorry it was the Jamaican coming out in me). Black people are known to place money under mattresses as there was a lot of insurance companies and banks who would refuse to pay out on black people who had died or want the money which they had paid into the account in the late 19th and early 20th century.

The new cashless payment will mean people will have access to more financial services as the money can be stored in a central place for you to access this and it has the potential for controls to be put on this (if you chose, though I’m sure there will be a facility for the powers that be to select how you spend it). The problem will mean that the money will be centralised and you may need to be part of the central system to access these funds which will mean that you are then vulnerable to the system (in the west) rather than being able to go off the grid (so to speak).

The cashless system will work in a way in which you will be able to just tap your smartphone device against a reader. The first concept used in Kenya (M Pesa) in 2007 allowed residents of the first village which this was trialled in to type a code into their phone and another code would appear and the would provide this to the shop keeper who would place it into a computerised till system.

Its a interesting concept cashless society, as it will financially include many people but some people may be come excluded as a result, especially if they are resistant to the use of technology or have little access, due to digital exclusion (little or no access to the internet or technology which facilitates cashless payments).

If you want to find out more about this please look at the sources below:

M Pesa (www.economist.com)

The Future of Mobile phone payment (www.theguardian.com)

The battle between Google and Apple for cashless mobile payments (www.popsci.com)

Cashless transaction trends (www.trustedreveiws.com)

Financial Inclusion (broad definition) (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Financial_inclusion)

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