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erichw1504's avatar

Do you think physical paper money will ever become obsolete?

Asked by erichw1504 (26398points) October 1st, 2009

As people use credit cards more and more and on-line transactions become increasingly popular, do you think that we could eventually do away with real cash? What kind of impact would this have in our world? How could virtual money even have value anymore? What would be the positive and negative effects of this?

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28 Answers

SpatzieLover's avatar

Yes. My mom & husband both joke about the time when we’ll all have a UPC chip implanted that will ring up our purchases.

jaketheripper's avatar

Yes i imagine debit cards will overtake cash by volume spent in less than 10 years but i can’t imagine no paper money. it’s good because the consequences of physical theft are almost none but there is still identity theft which is awful. I can foresee problems for small exchanges i mean are girl scouts going to carry around a card scanner?

SpatzieLover's avatar

@jaketheripper In my area, Girl Scouts were selling on Ebay.

J0E's avatar

I hope either paper money or coins become obsolete. I’m sick of carrying both, let’s just pick one.

SpatzieLover's avatar

@J0E I agree. I don’t even know why our gov’t bothers to make coins. They cost more to produce than they’re worth.

Doc_Zola's avatar

PayPal through my iPhone. Just scan the screen and I’m off and running.

SpatzieLover's avatar

@Doc_Zola I learned something new today, HOORAY!

erichw1504's avatar

@J0E I agree with coins, they’re kind of annoying and I never carry them around anymore, usually just leave them in the car or in a piggy bank.

doggywuv's avatar

Yes, in the same way physical information (texts on paper) became obsolete.

se_ven's avatar

When you think about it Paper money has (nearly) no physical value of it’s own, and coinage has less physical value than what it is worth.

They are only worth something because they are backed by the US Government (used to be by the Gold Standard). They are just an ‘idea’ like electronic money, so I could potentially see the death of physical currency.

Where it would be difficult is in countries that won’t have the technical resources to track everything, and where people don’t have bank accounts (it’s actually quite a few people that only use cash and don’t have any checking or savings accounts).

kibaxcheza's avatar

i say yes, but not till after a sever economic crisis. Like a second great depression…..

JONESGH's avatar

i wonder if all transactions were done through computing how the “black market” would react. especially since the government would be able to see all of your transactions

CMaz's avatar

They are alread working on it here in the USA.
Once we all have a nice new National ID card.
Then they will go to Chip, which will contain all info about us including finances.
After that, no need for cash.

Doc_Zola's avatar

I watched a show on the making of coins and paper money. Amazing artists that create the mock ups for the designs for real money, but it would be interesting to see how much is spent on the process vs how much money is produced.

ABoyNamedBoobs03's avatar

it’s already on it’s way to being phased out.

doggywuv's avatar

@doggywuv Correction: it’s not quite already obsolete but it’s destined to become obsolete.

RedPowerLady's avatar

Ya, no chip for me, sorry everyone.

I wouldn’t mind doing away with paper money.

In fact, don’t target me for saying this please, i despise the idea of money in any form. Ick.

saraaaaaa's avatar

I’m against the whole idea of chips and electronic money, when I walk around during a day shopping and putting it on my card I don’t really notice the decreasing funds, whereas if i have cash on me then obviously I notice it disappearing as I spend it and am therefore much more conscientious of what I spend it on which i think is a good thing.

RedPowerLady's avatar

@saraaaaaa That is a very good point. It is the same with me. I am much more likely to overspend when using the card.

saraaaaaa's avatar

Indeed, and what about pocket money for future children? Standing order? When I was a child the beauty and joy or a whole pound coin and what I could buy with it was mesmerising. I doubt a piece of plastic would have meant the same.

RedPowerLady's avatar

@saraaaaaa Similarly my little sister thought pennies were amazing. She cherished them. I don’t know if you’ve ever seen Mary Poppins (movie) but she would call them Tuppins and just thought they were the neatest things ever.

YARNLADY's avatar

If everyone used as little paper as we do in my household, wood and paper companies would be out of business – oh, wait, they already are. I think it is already happening.

boffin's avatar

…Do you think physical paper money will ever become obsolete?...

Not the way Obama keeps printing it…

Grisaille's avatar

Almost an inevitable reality.

sweetteaindahouse's avatar

I’m gonna have to say no. Think about it this way, nobody really pays with a two dollar bill, but they still make them. There will always be money collectors like myself. If there is no money, they can’t do what they love. You also can’t give a credit/debit card to a little kid and tell them they can use it while they go with their friend shopping. They will not have control and spend a lot of money. With paper money, you can just give them a 20 and tell them that’s all they can use.

wundayatta's avatar

I hope so. It’s such a pain having to deal with money. It’s so much easier to wave around a piece of plastic. Dealing with money takes way too much time. In times where efficiency is so important, paper money will be gone as soon as is technically feasible.

Except for memorial money made for collectors.

weebler76's avatar

I think it already is. I can’t even remember the last time I used or received cash.

AshlynM's avatar

Improbable, but not impossible.

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