Just read an article by Greg Emerson of MainStreet titled 7 Reasons You’ll Always Need Cash.
His introduction claimed, “Despite predictions of a cashless society, coins and dollar bills aren’t going away anytime soon. In fact, under some circumstances they remain the best way to pay.”
Of course, numismatists will be glad to hear this point of view. Just think about the future of the study and collection of money if we become a cashless society.
His article itemized the seven reasons. You need cash when:
1. Buying from small companies – small companies, with their thin margins, frequently cannot afford the bank or card processing fees for credit and debit cards
2. Working with a tight budget – financial planners frequently advise paying just with cash to keep within a budget and to attack debt
3. Technology fails –technology is great, but it does fail quite frequently and frequently at the absolute worst of times – cash is a good thing to have when what you want to purchase is in an area without a signal for your technology to work.
4. There’s an emergency – kin to the technology failure, emergencies tend to come with additional problems such as cash only – think of a tow truck driver when you have a break down in the wee hours of the morning
5. You want your purchase to remain anonymous – maybe you don’t want that special someone to see how much you paid for their gift on a bank or credit card statement
6. People depend on tips – cash goes into their pocket where the amount added to a credit or debit card can have strings attached to it
7. You want to make a charitable donation – some individuals and groups are not set up for credit and debit contributions, for example, the homeless or the Shriners or firemen taking donations at the traffic light intersections
Now, let’s add number 8 with all of the numismatists wanting to continue with both the hobby and the investment of money.
A cashless system would devastate the future of money collecting.
Sure, maybe for a while the older coins and currency would have value as a collectible, but for how long?
Would it be months, years, decades?
My guess – numismatics would continue for a few years but as the older numismatists leave this world, there would be very few new members added. Eventually, the numismatic collectibles would lose their value except for a few select and very expensive pieces.
For now, we still enjoy coins and currency – old and new. The hobby is open to everyone – young, old, novice and expert.
Let’s just keep our coins and currency for as long as possible.