Have you heard of a cashless society? The amount of cash used in Korea is decreasing every year.

According to the Bank of Korea, the average monthly cash expenditure per household decreased from KRW 810,000 in 2015 to KRW 510,000 in 2021, and as cash usage decreases, the number and amount of credit and debit card usage naturally continues to increase.

Cards accounted for 37.4% of total spending in 2015 and 58.3% in 2021, and have long since surpassed half of all spending.

As a result of the decreasing use of cash, several local governments, including Seoul, are piloting cashless buses, and you can even find cashless restaurants and cafes.

In recent years, there have been various easy payment methods that make it possible to avoid carrying a wallet, and many companies are offering easy payment services, which has been called the payment service war.

The market grew 18.2% year-on-year in 2022, partly due to the COVID-19 pandemic, which favored contactless methods, but it’s clear that the convenience payment market is growing.

Less risk of loss and theft, less cash management effort and expense메이저사이트, accounting transparency…

If there are such advantages, shouldn’t we hurry to transition to a cashless society?

[Lee Chang-min / Ticketing Policy Team, Bureau of Ticketing, Bank of Korea] In the event of a cashless society, we are concerned that the financial marginalization and constraints on consumption activities of vulnerable groups who are highly dependent on cash, such as the elderly, disabled, low-income earners, and residents of walled areas, will intensify.

The elderly without income are more likely to use cash than other age groups due to restrictions on credit card issuance and lack of familiarity with non-cash payment methods.

Among those in their 70s and older, only 15.4 percent have ever used mobile financial services.

[Elderly: I’d rather use cash, it’s more convenient]

[Elderly: I use cash, I don’t even know how to use a card].

In addition, there are problems such as monopolization by a few companies, personal information leakage, and the lack of payment methods in the event of a large-scale power outage.

In fact, the 2018 KT fire knocked out communications and made card payments impossible in parts of Seoul, forcing people to pay in cash, but ATMs were also down, causing confusion, as was the case with the 2021 KT service outage and the 2022 Kakao data center fire.

These events demonstrated the vulnerability of a cashless society to unexpected communication failures.

Countries such as Sweden, the United Kingdom, and New Zealand, which have rapidly moved to a cashless society, are experiencing similar side effects as Korea.

That’s why we’re emphasizing cash use options to ensure that consumers aren’t forced to choose cash as a payment method against their will.

Cashless society. It may be an inevitable future.

But it’s time to take a look at whether there is enough social consensus to eliminate cash, and whether the convenience of the many is masking the inconvenience of the few.

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