Steven Melendez at The Wall Street Journal explains the ever increasing reliance of people around the world on electronic payments. The convenience is obvious, but one solid EMP zapping would short circuit digital payments in a snap. If you abandon cash, there’s no recourse in the event of an outage. Melendez writes:
As more people and places say ‘No’ to cash, apps like Venmo and Zelle are emerging as the new dominant payment methods. Here, how to navigate the social landscape of a paperless world.
As more people swap funds via apps—over $21 billion was sent using Venmo in the first quarter of 2019, up 73% from the same time last year—cash is starting to burn a hole in people’s pockets. From takeout spots to Amazon Go markets to your buddy Carl, paper money is increasingly being rejected.
Domestically, cash hasn’t completely disappeared yet—an attempt to pay with Venmo or Mastercard will be met with a bemused shake of the head at plenty of corner bars, laundromats and food trucks.
Payment methods will only get more complex, so even the last holdouts may have to eventually embrace—or at least grin and bear—digital payment apps and learn the social rules around them. Vikrant Gandhi, director of information communication technologies at market research firm Frost & Sullivan, said he anticipates the number of these apps to rise in the coming years as the financial-services industry experiments to find even easier, more accessible digital tools.
Read more here.