Saturday, April 21, 2018

Cashless Society musings

My son just belanja us to Genting Highlands recently for some good old fashion family fun.

Many things remain the same there but many things are also changing furiously fast.

Like how they are embracing càshless payment &  digital payments.

Their retail and planned integrated resort branding, marketing  and point of sale promotions were very interesting for someone like me.

On a side note, i noticed more vending machines throughout the Genting resort brand.

Even walk ways on every floor leading to rooms  had vending machines!
This was probably a new way to monetise non commercial retail areas😁

Interestingly, these days i see more and more young adults pay for small purchases and even a single cup of coffee (in cafes and restaurants) with a credit card, often without signing or entering a PIN.

(We know it as Wave payment system for any payment below RM 250).   I've been told kiosk pintar (smart payment kiosks) in Jakarta, Surabaya and Java are fast expanding nation wide.

So, looks like people are already trained to be happy to operate without cash, & with new options like We Chat pay; Ali Pay, Samsung pay or even Apple Pay, which lets you use your iPhone and your fingerprint to pay with better security than an actual card, that trend is likely to accelerate.

Our business mens' old habits of carrying wads of cash everywhere will soon change

Prepaid credit cards are also a popular alternative, as I've noticed 7/11 are enlarging their market share of those cards and
vouchers that can be bought in their stores for cash and used to pay for internet games and songs on platforms like JOOX.

One thing is clear: As online shopping becomes yet more prevalent, and prepaid credit cards to replace more and more low-value cash transactions becoming more accepted, even with small time vendors, cash is well on its way to becoming obsolete.

Our business men dealing mainly in cash transactions need to understand and appreciate this changes.

But as with most other new technology, full usage in Malaysia will be unevenly distributed.

As I've often said in these musings, change is coming hard and fast.....whether we personally accept it or not.

Better to know About these changes early.

But as with all progress, not everyone will be affected all at once.

Unmistakably, urban cities will benefit / feel these changes first.

But understand that it is in governments favor when money is all electronic, instead of hard-to-track paper, they (governments) can experiment with innovations in monetary policy far more easily than when a lot of the money in the system exists as cash in people’s pockets.

As i see it, there are many benefits to removing cash from the economy, such as eliminating black markets and allowing more easy monetary policy.

For instance, countries central bank can automatically allow money to automatically devalue itself slowly, (encouraging its owners to spend it) & it can also allow parents to restrict their kid’s allowance to only be spent on wholesome pursuits, like books, or prohibit it from being used in fast-food restaurants. (Think how already we can limit credit cards extended to brands and locations)

They can also make happen the currently unthinkable..... for instance, in a digital atmosphere, within a few years governments can use current fintech to make money changers become obsolete!!

How, you ask?

All Digital payment is the same as long as currency appreciation differences are factored in.

Whether Ali pay, Samsung pay or I currency has no difference or border. You can pay the same digital payment in any country as long as the platforms to record them ate similar or affiliated.

Scary isn't it?

Governments and their agencies love electronic transactions of course.

Without cash, it’s much harder to hide money from the tax man.

I suspect our financial circumstances and priorities will be very different by 2020.

[21/04, 16:40] Gunabalan.Esq:

Yes. I wonder though how many of our people are truly aware of these coming changes?

[21/04, 17:01] Gunabalan.Esq:

For the info and thought of those in leadership roles in this chatroom;

One good example is The elderly  in our community:
One group of vulnerable people who might be at a loss in the coming New world if no outreach is done to inform and educate them on new digital money systems and operations.

I know because even I had a public blow up with my President when I couldn't care less to follow up on certain digital payment updates😁😁that he considered important.

[21/04, 17:08] Gunabalan.Esq: And in case no one here knows; your wallet needs to be rfid protected now days if you have visa or amex wave cards in them.

Otherwise it can be scanned easily as you pass by any mobile reader machine.

Although Wave is used for a limited amount, but why risk it?

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