The Implications of a Cashless Society on our Children

The cashless society is on its way, this was apparent long before the COVID pandemic hit. Schools are in a rush to transition to cashless, in an attempt to stay on the forefront of innovation, continue to meet the evolving needs of parents and students, and improve efficiencies. There is no question that a cashless society introduces endless benefits to society, but the negative implications must also be addressed.

Cash is no longer king and that’s not necessarily a bad thing! With cash comes crime, so removing cash can lead to a safer world for us to live in. There are also the added benefits of lower tax evasion, less time spent handling, storing and depositing money, removal of associated hygiene issues, lower transaction costs for businesses, and the list goes on. Like anything, with the good comes bad!  There isn’t much we can do to stop the transition to a cashless society, but we should be aware of the negative implications so as to manage them accordingly. 

Going cashless means that there is a total dependence on bank accounts, credit cards, and online banking. We are therefore at their mercy, and obliged to pay whatever fees or surcharges are imposed. The government gains more control over its citizens and is able to exert that control at any moment. Exposure of personal information may result in possible data beaches, which may leave individuals with no alternate payment option until matters are resolved which as we all know, with tech, can take days or even months. Possibly the worst implication is the intrinsic and emotional value of cash, and lack thereof when it is taken away. How will this translate for future generations? How will we educate our youth on the value of money, if it’s not a tangible asset that you can touch, hold and see. There are all real-life problems that we are all facing, if not at the present moment, in the not so distant future.

Good behaviours are instilled in the home. If we want our children to understand the value of money, and the important role that it plays in our lives, we need to educate them on it. Explain how money works. Ensure they’re aware of a bank account being like an online piggy bank that stores all their coins and notes until they need to be used. They should know that if there isn’t money in the account, they aren’t able to spend money. Give them pocket money for completing chores in the house. They might get $2 for cleaning their bedroom, or $5 to clean the kitchen and wash the dishes. You can transfer this straight into their bank account, but in working for the money, they’ll be more aware of its value. Finally, let your child do some spending. With My School Connect, you can set up a child account, allocate a daily spend limit, and let them take charge of their own spending. It’s a great way for them to manage funds in a controlled environment. 

We are all creatures of habit – change can be difficult to accept, and challenging to adapt to. Once we overcome this hurdle, change can introduce to us all many benefits. In many years to come, we will likely have forgotten about cash as a way of life, and be complacent and content living in a cashless society. With a bit of optimism and openness, the future is bright, let’s welcome it with open arms!