Tim Cook raised some eyebrows recently while on a U.K. tour in support of Apple Pay, when he said bluntly, “your kids will not know what money is.”
Apple Pay, Google Pay, and the recently arrived Samsung Pay are heavily invested in transforming digital payments as we know it. Cashless transactions represent a significant portion of the transaction market already. There’s also the rise in digital currencies, such as bitcoin to consider. Whether cash will ever really be forgotten in time comes down to whether people will want to let go of something so familiar.
As convenient as these technologies prove to be, there are a number of reasons why money may not be going away anytime soon. It may prove difficult to replace the tangibility of cash. Cash is convenient. Cash can be held. Cash is king. Compared to a number on a screen, cash is familiar.
It can also be argued that there are some transactions that many people may not want to be tracked for convenience or any reason at all. Consider items such as gifts, private loans to friends, poker night proceeds, tips for your waiter, tips at a gentlemen’s club, and so on as things that people may not want a digital record of. Many people could also have trust issues with technology itself, given the spate of cyber breaches that has reached the public consciousness. There are also a number of concerns about privacy, government control, regulations, and so forth to consider.
Cook did lay out answers surrounding some of the security concerns including advocating the encryption of systems completely without any backdoor access. “We will productively work with the governments to try to convince them that’s also in their best interests in the national security sense,” he said.
Cook’s statement challenges convention and that is one thing we have come to expect from a company that wants to change the way we interact with our world.