Saturday, 22 September 2012

The Cashless Society

Last night while driving through the prairies, I listened to a CBC radio broadcast from some sort of futurist convention.  One of the speakers addressed the issue of cash.  While cash is traditional, comfortable and easily managed, it is also expensive to print, easily deployed for criminal activities and puts its’ carriers at risk.  The speaker speculated that with today’s electronic money transfer technology, the world could easily go cashless; maybe not in 5 years, but more probably in 25 years.

Big deal.  Let it go cashless.  With credit and debit cards, electronic banking and smart-phone payments at Starbucks already, we’re getting close.  One of the intriguing elements to this possibility is the impact on our industry.  Already there are criminals who dabble in gold and diamonds in place of cash.  The new AML (anti-money laundering) regulations have nothing to do with honest law-abiding citizens.  Every effort is being made to stem the use of cash for laundering proceeds of crime.

If cash is eliminated, I can easily imagine, the investment-diamond industry will boom, and big brother will be watching our transactions with a keen eye.  

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