I recently read this article in the FT about the gradual demise of the use of cash in the US. It strikes me that it has direct parallels with the patters of use of cash the world over - provided you are on the right side of the digital divide.
This is a phenomenon that won't go away quickly as coronavirus leaves aftershocks for months and years to come. To benefit from all of the amazing new technology driving the cashless revolution, and the growth of online shopping, people need access to bank accounts, credit cards and fully functioning infrastructure at home (ie broadband) and on the move (mobile phones).
My recent experience in running a debate with Fintechs on "Doing business at a distance" was fascinating. But of course it is based on one presumption - access to banking, technology and an underlying minimum knowledge as to how it all works.
A timely reminder that with opportunity comes inequality. Cash may be here a little while longer...
Coronavirus will hasten the decline in the use of cash as people make a long-term switch to digital payments, experts say. The lockdown has led to a 60% fall in the number of withdrawals from cash machines, although people are taking out bigger sums. Payment card use has risen with online shopping, particularly for groceries. Experts say the long-term future of cash could be at risk, before the UK is ready to cope with the change. This could leave behind an estimated 20% of the population who rely on cash, they say.