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Will America become a Cashless Society?

More and more shops in America are turning to a “no-cash” business model. It’s beginning to appear that people don’t care if they can’t spend cash. And though it is still odd for a business to have a no-cash society, it’s actually become more common than you may think. The internet is all no cash, airlines often refuse cash, and so to some shops, like fashion shop Kit and Ace in Detroit. Your Benjamins, Hamiltons, Jacksons or Grants aren’t welcome. Even some parking lots don’t take cash any more.

And though a no-cash policy is still an oddity, it is set to change. Most people carry very little cash. They’ve been incentivized to use credit cards through points programs, airline miles, and yes, even cash back on purchases.

“I think we are sort of on the edge of seeing more and more businesses that don’t take cash,” said Jay Zagorsky, economist and research scientist at Ohio State University. Zagorsky thinks that in a few years, poor families who don’t have bank accounts will find it harder to function because more and more stores will not accept cash.

In 2013 a survey found a trend away from paper checks. Retailers and others have plenty of reasons to get rid of cash. It’s less chance for clerks and flight attendants to steal. Cash is an invitation to robbery (that’s why many people don’t carry much cash). No need to count change or balance the cash drawer.

People who pay with cash usually pay a premium because the cost of paying by credit or debit cards is passed on to them too.

Some scholars are calling for less cash in circulation. Economist Kenneth S. Rogoff, in his new book The Curse of Cash makes the case to cut back on $100 bills and suggests a “less-cash” society. He believes that most cash transactions are small and do not require $100 bills. And cash is king in the “underground economy” as large bills facilitate crime.

A cashless society prepares society for the Bible’s end-time prediction that laws will restrict buying and selling and other consequences for disobeying national and international worship laws.

“And that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name.” Revelation 13:17.

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