Cash transactions are becoming more and more obsolete with time. An increasing number of retailers are beginning to accept digital payments like Apple Pay or credit cards with chip technology and are stocking their registers as minimally as possible. This is done for convenience as well as concern for health. CNN reported recently that there are 100+ different types of bacteria swarming all over the currency circulating New York City alone. Imagine how much more can be found throughout the state, country, or even world? It’s unsanitary and the reason food handlers have requirements for wearing and changing their gloves during cash transactions.
Consumers realize this. It’s a major source of the switch from physical bills to digital payments. Of course, it’s also so much easier to carry your wallet around on your phone. For men and women alike, carrying around cash is bulky and irritating to deal with. Minimalism is the new trend, including reduction of personal items on your actual person. Especially for travelers, this is the safest way, since cash is easier to steal and makes you more of a target for thieves and scammers.
Digital funds have even taken over the personal transaction market, with apps like Venmo that allow you to instantly transfer money from your bank account or Venmo reserve to friends via only your mobile device. No need for cash, a credit card to upload funds, or even to meet in person. You can send money to someone that lives halfway around the world in an instant if you want or need to.
Now, Venmo is expanding its reach by venturing into the retail environment. Soon, users everywhere will be able to use a Venmo debit card in their favorite stores. This practice will use your reserve of Venmo funds as if Venmo itself is your bank. This way, if a friend pays you through the app, instead of having to transfer the money back into your bank account or use it to pay someone else in the future, you can use your debit card to make a transaction directly from your account.
How else do digital transactions protect us?
When your funds are entirely digital, it’s not only easier to spend money, but it’s easier to keep track of your payments. There are apps to track your spending, like Mint or GoodBudget, as well as financial planning software you can download to your computer. They will even analyze the data for you to help you spend and budget most efficiently. Look around to find the best program for you. Check out reviews of Intuit Quickbooks, for example, before taking the plunge. Many of these softwares are for the business owner and individual alike.
Although digital currency like Bitcoin has done extremely well in terms of its value over the past few years, it has yet to catch on as the popular mode of spending (although its use is widely accepted by online retailers and marketplaces). However, given the trend towards digitizing our purchasing power, there’s no doubt that we will see an entirely computerized world–money and all.
Digital wallets are the most effective method of spending while traveling, too, for safety purposes. If you’re interested in learning more about protecting yourself and your devices from theft while on vacation, check out our related post: 6 Safety Tips For The Tech-Savvy Traveler