Life on Tapp: How will the tooth fairy pay without cash in society?
Blaise Tapp writes: That’s not because I live a frugal life – as a father of two I cannot leave the house without having to put my hand in my pocket – more that spending cash anywhere is becoming an increasingly difficult thing to do. According to the Bank of England, in five years’ time, just nine per cent of transactions in the UK will be made in cash and while there will be plenty of those who claim that this is simply another example of progress, there is also the argument that this could disadvantage millions of people.
Campaigners say that, as is often the case with advances in society, the most vulnerable of us will suffer the most if the folding stuff becomes obsolete. They say that the elderly, many of whom wouldn’t know a banking app if it moved into the spare room, would undoubtedly struggle if they had to pay for the weekly shop with plastic or, God forbid, on a smartphone that many of them don’t own.
For those old enough to have heard of Max Bygraves cash remains king and let’s face it the Grey Pound is still a very important part of an economy that needs all the help it can get so why alienate them? Other groups we are told that will suffer if paying for stuff goes completely digital include disabled and vulnerable younger people who get a taste of independence by using cash.
It appears that only the Scandinavian countries are phasing out cash as rapidly as we are here.
Another reason I’d be sad to see cash disappear for good, is that there is something far more human about sticking twenty quid in a card than telling the birthday boy or girl that you have just transferred some money into their account.
My kids prefer cash because it is tangible rather than something in an account that is managed by mum and dad - it is difficult to learn about money when you can’t see it. It will also be a very sad day when children of the future are told that the tooth fairy has pinged them a quid in exchange for the molar under the pillow. I want to keep cash because I truly believe that society will be far worse off without it.