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Embrace the Cashless Society: Bid Farewell to Piggy Banks

With the ham-fisted federal government’s move to outlaw cheques, will the next step be to remove cash transactions?


Is the day of the piggy bank over?

The joy of receiving birthday money or a reward for running an errand—stashed away in a treasured jar or special money box—is a cherished childhood memory. But possibly no more if some of the banks get their way.

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No more the honesty box at the side of the road for the sale of homegrown flowers or bagged pony manure by our young entrepreneurs.

Let alone the joy of counting out the hard-earned money and knowing there is finally enough to buy that much-wanted toy or bike.

The attempts to move us to a cashless economy will reverberate throughout the totality of society, from the entrepreneurial young child through to the benefactor who wants to anonymously help someone in need by leaving an envelope under the front door.

The COVID-compelled cashless transactions may have forever changed our consumer behaviour so that we carry less and less cash with us daily.

Even charity collectors are now armed with the “square” to receive our cashless donations and remove the excuse of “Sorry I don’t have any cash on me” from the less generous.

With the ham-fisted federal government’s move to outlaw cheques, will the next step be to remove cash transactions making every single financial transaction traceable by authorities?

Many will feel that such a possibility is highly intrusive and an infringement on personal freedom and liberty. And with it, the spectre of a “big brother government” monitoring our every move comes a step closer.

The financial system has never enjoyed the best of reputations. Some of that may be because we always tend to owe them money on which they charge “excessive” interest rates and should we have a bit of money in store the interest paid to us is “never enough.”

U.S. Dollar banknotes in this illustration taken on July 17, 2022. (Dado Ruvic/Illustration/Reuters)
U.S. Dollar banknotes in this illustration taken on July 17, 2022. (Dado Ruvic/Illustration/Reuters)

Profits made, excessive fees, and the findings of the recent Royal Commission suggest the finance sector has substantially tarnished its reputation.

It apparently seeks to repair this by supporting an array of “woke” causes that discerning customers know are ultimately paid by the fees and interest they pay to the bank, only occasioning even more damage and resentment.

In this scenario we now have the finance sector declining to issue cheques or receive cheques without an outrageous service fee. The silence of the unions on this is truly astounding.

The advent of automatic teller machines (ATMs) was allegedly to make cash withdrawals simpler and more convenient saving banks the cost of wages.

How long did it take to have a transaction fee charged for using the ATM?

Ultimately, it has provided no savings to the consumer but is just another revenue raiser for the banks while providing a disincentive for the use of cash.

Banks Are Not Completely to Blame

That said, we do need to spare a bit of thought (not too much, however) for the banks.

While they have been heavily criticised for withdrawing services and branches from regional towns and centres, it has been largely driven by us, the consumer.

In one regional town, wool cheques were no longer deposited at the local bank because a financial adviser had suggested he could gain a marginally better interest rate for some customers and lower interest payments for the local council’s loan portfolio.

As the use of electronic payments took hold, the need for small businesses to do their daily banking also diminished.

The only regular need for the bank’s presence was to cash pension cheques, hardly a lucrative sideline for the banks. Indeed it’s more of a social service.

In all of this, the shareholders of the banks are not unreasonably seeking a return as well.

Where Does It Leave Us?

The recent announcement by some banks that they will Source link


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