At 330 days into my #ayearwithoutcash challenge I can almost see the end point – except that I don’t see there being an endpoint anymore. I just don’t have the need to change my cashless habit – it simply works!
Over 2000 transactions with 10 service providers across a number of markets in Europe, and then USA, Japan, Singapore, Australia – it just works.
Across all the countries I’ve been to the only real challenge I had was in Tokyo where the superfast, super efficient metro system has a mysterious hang up for cash.
That’s not to say that they’re not digital because the “ticket” is an Oyster like reloadable card called Suica or Pasmo which you can use contactlessly as a ticket, with vending machines or at a variety of smaller convenience stores.
And the reload experience was pretty easy too with one issue – the only way you could transfer value on to the card in the machine was by loading banknotes. Luckily we had preloaded cards to use from the travel agent!
But I understand having come back from Japan that you can also add a Suica card into Apple Pay, and reload the card from your debit or credit card. So now we’re talking!
Talking of ‘cashlessness’, I was recently a panellist at CMSP’s Retail Payments Conference in London where the topic was about “Cashless stores – a debate and practical advice to deal with declining cash volumes”. It just made me realise how far we’d come.
I can still remember talking to retailers back in 2006-2007, in Mastercard then Visa roles, about this thing called contactless, and trying to persuade them that it would be a good thing for their business.