Straight to the point, I am all for cashless society. There are logistics reasons impeding Malaysia progress in doing away with the physical currency, but I am not going to elaborate on those reasons just yet (coming soon). No, I am not talking about the state of poverty.
This is pretty logical. The availability of cash on you makes you a walking target for petty thieves and gallant robbers alike. I can predict the amount of cash you are carrying is directly proportionate to the prevalence of crimes. Safety precautions that are built in and added on are generally sufficient to safeguard most transactions. Criminal will have to up their games to scam or hack you. The weakest link unfortunately, is still the human factor.
Production, transporting, handling, storing (protecting) and disposal of physical currency (bank notes and coins) are processes that need extra resources and energy, which at the moment mostly not renewable. Read more: How paper currency is made. Utilising cashless transaction is reducing the need of storing and transporting physical currency, indirectly reducing the operating costs for most businesses. Office runners and guards might drop certain responsibilities, aye?
You should know that all digital transactions will leave some sorts of ‘trails’. The possibility of making each transaction traceable might reduce the prevalence of illegal transactions, including money laundering and drug trade. It is harder to hide income and evade taxes. On top of that, seller are more likely to get paid given the evidence of purchase.
When transactions require currency exchange, international transactions without the constraint of borders can happen almost instantly without the need to attend to a currency trader or a bank, provided both parties share the same platform. With just a mobile device, you can skip all the hurdles of long waiting time and getting cheated by traders. Besides, you have less worry about fluctuating currency exchange rate that might not be beneficial for prolonged processing time.
Therefore going cashless is the least effortless environmental friendly step we can take, at least you can say you are committed to ‘Reduce‘ in the 3R (Reduce-Reuse-Recycle) efforts. I have decided not to include temporary perks that are offered by respective eWallet providers. Given that most Malaysians are still ignorant on cashless transactions, I think I need to write some step-by-step guide in the future (no promise yet).
Coming soon: Why Malaysia is Not Ready to Go Cashless (Just Yet)?