Yesterday, like any other morning, I got out of bed and prepared myself for the day. Little did I know my old pal Murphy’s Law was waiting for me the second I left my door step. I was even happily singing my favourite Ed Sheeran song, Photograph, while driving and thinking that today is going to be an awesome day.
But I was soon proven otherwise. When I got off my car, I realized I had forgotten to bring my wallet and I was already freaking 982938723987123m drive away from home.
That is how I felt. The horror of not having my wallet and
that emergency condom I place inside my wallet just in case any hot girl hits
on me. the favourite picture of me and my wife in my wallet.
I wasn’t going to drive back home so I decided to take out my only source of money from the car, which is my Flashpay card, and prayed for the best.
Pulled through the morning pretty successfully considering my very first appointment was with a few friends for a morning swim. I managed to pay my entrance fee using my Flashpay card.
We started lamenting about how careless I was after the swim and I was defending myself, saying I never had this problem. Like how could I ever miss my wallet because it is so huge in my pocket. And then I managed to identify the problem of that day, I wasn’t wearing pants…. with pockets. * face palm*
So we started this discussion about living in a cashless city and getting by with contactless payment. Is it even possible in our country?
The End of Money. The Start of Cashless Society.
I did a quick search on the Internet and there was this article about how Europe has many different policies against cash. (Against cash and against money is different. I have nothing against money.) In fact, Sweden, the very first country in Europe to issue paper money in the 1661 is probably going to be the first in the world to eliminate cash. (See, you do learn interesting things from this blog. Sometimes lah.)
Sweden has already phased out most cash transactions. According to Credit Suisse, 80% of all purchases in Sweden don’t involve cold hard cash. (Source: Internationalman.com)
Back to Singapore, is it possible for us to do the same? Think about it. There are so many things that we can pay for without cash these days.
• I’ve never paid for petrol using cash because there are always card discounts.
• We do not need to pay gantry fees with cash like some countries because we have an IU and ERP. (And erm soon we have our “pay as your drive” system)
• We tap our cards to commute on trains and buses.
• Taxi apps can also be synced to your credit cards and you can go cashless.
• Buying movie tickets online even before reaching the cinema.
• Online shopping, which obviously requires no cash.
• And even the other day during CNY, my friends were playing mahjong and they paid each other using the DBS PayLah app instead of cash you know!! How cool is that?
So it got me thinking: When was the last time I really had to use cash since I’ve been using cards and apps so often? It’s already 2016 and even my mum who can’t operate a computer well is on Facebook.
So my friends and I went on to discuss why some of these merchants are not interested in cashless payment. After a long debate, (nope, no one was harmed during the debate. We are very civilized people) we actually found out that even local merchants are actually on it as well.
Surprise, surprise - I found out that there are a few hawkercentres in Singapore that have adopted the cashless system!
Given these mom-and-pop stalls have already embraced cashless payment, I can definitely envision Singapore fast following the footsteps of Sweden and become the next cashless city. Would be pretty cool if tourists knew us as The Cashless City instead of The Fine City, don’t you think?
I guess the only problem without cash is that Magic Mike XXL will be quite boring with no one throwing those dollar bills. Haha.