NC State Ag Economist Dr. Mike Walden – “Should we go Cashless?”

Mary:    I’m Mary Walden with economist MW welcoming you to the economic perspective.  Today’s program asks if we should go cashless.  Mike, increasingly there are ways we can pay for things without using cash.   Indeed, many young people seem to prefer this form of payment.   Does this mean most of us – even oldsters like you and me – will eventually stop carrying and using cash?

Mike:  Summary Answer

  1. Supporters say it’s time – we now have the technology
  2. Would be more efficient, would reduce crime, and would reduce tax evasion since people couldn’t be paid in cash
  3. Supporters say start by eliminating large bills
  4. However, detractors make two points
  5. First, many limited resource individuals don’t have access to the cashless techniques – for example – 8% of households don’t have bank accounts
  6. Also, detractors worry about an expansion of “big brother” – since cashless transactions are easier for government to track
  7. They say – let the payment system evolve – but don’t force it
  8. I’m MW


Mary:  And I’m Mary Walden for N C State Extension