I have been wondering, will we soon no longer need to have physical currency? Can the US Mint finally stop printing bills and manufacturing coins? Can we finally go 100% cashless? Given the speed of acceptance of digital currency, that future may be a decade or less away.
While many like to carry cash in their pocket or feel safer with dollars stuffed under their mattress, millennials have been embracing instant payment services, like Venmo, to transfer monies from one bank account to another. At the same time, thanks to online banking, check writing has been reduced as bills are paid online and automatically from customer to provider. Mortgage checks, credit card and utility bills, and more are paid online. And people are using Square and Pay Pal and others to pay their share of household bills as well as other transactions.
And as the NY Times reports, banks are beginning to embrace instant payments too. "On Monday, Wells Fargo joined JPMorgan Chase, Bank of America
and US Bank in allowing customers to send money in seconds to one
another’s bank accounts using just a phone number or email address." Many may still question the security of such transactions, but the ease of use and immediate access to funds cannot be denied. Our smartphone will be our wallet and our penny jar will become a nostalgia item. Unfortunately, the rise of hacking and ease at which our data has been stolen from company databases may still scare a large number of people. But once solved, the likelihood that physical monies become obsolete, another result of the rise of digital technology, could be happening in 5 years if not in the next decade.