The RM30 e-credit given by the previous Government to Malaysians above 17 years old who earn less than RM100,000 annually has ended. This was to encourage public’s adoption of digital payment. With e-wallets, transactions will become more effective and efficient. People may be willing to spend more and hence boost the country’s economy. But is cashless really that good?
The Dangers of a Cashless Society:
Cash payments work anywhere but digital payments rely on operating power networks, and supporting systems. A cashless world is entirely vulnerable to cyber-attacks and system breakdowns, with no emergency back-up plans. Sweden, for instance, experienced a computer crash during a “cashless festival” and, with none of the guests having cash, the entire event was bungled.
Transactions we make become virtual. Corporations and governments will be able to monitor the citizens. Citizens’ concerns have already been expressed at how powerful and influential companies like Facebook and Google have become.
3. The Poor
Charity organizations warn that if we force our societies over the cashless cliff, the most vulnerable members of our societies (the poor) will be further excluded and isolated. This is because the poor are usually unbanked, and they may have no devices to make payments and even have difficulty in receiving financial aid.
4. The Elderly
The elderly is not as tech-savvy as the millennials. They may find the digital payment system more complicated and time-consuming.
5. The Planet
Many NGOs are pointing out that the green promises of the cashless revolution may well backfire. The carbon footprint of financial operations is large, but invisible, which makes it dangerous. Behind each transaction, a domino-effect of computer transactions occur which, once added together, represent an immense strain on the world’s resources and place additional demand on energy producers (Mike Javenson, 2019).
In short, e-wallets provide flexibility to majority of citizens, but not all. A full cashless society remains unlikely. More options are still better than fewer and therefore, whether to go cashless or not, it should be a free choice for citizens, not an imposed agenda.
Mike Javenson, Opinion: The Dangers of a Cashless Economy https://dailyhodl.com/