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A Cashless Society?? Perspectives from a MasterCard Newbie

It’s been just over one week since I joined MasterCard. Aside from the typical new employee rites of passage like meeting new colleagues – whom, I quickly learned, are in the midst of a cashless challenge – setting up benefits, taking required training courses and learning where the restrooms are, I’ve been bombarded with information about the payments industry and trying to get myself up to speed.

This week alone there have been several news stories about this idea of a cashless society featured in prominent media such as the Financial Times, Washington Post, and CBS Sunday Morning.

As I start to think about how a cashless world would impact my own life, I take a quick peek into my wallet which reveals a whole host of plastic, oodles of receipts, a few measly dollar bills and a hunk of loose change. Could I really minimize this mess I lug around with me and simplify the way I pay for things? Should I be putting my kids’ allowance on a prepaid debit card instead of scrounging up dollar bills each week? Could I pay the guitar teacher with a prepaid debit card?

There are many opinions about the merits and challenges associated with going cashless and the press coverage and dialog (see comments within these articles) is really heating up. So in the interest of sharing and allowing you to weigh in on what going cashless would mean to your lifestyle, below are some of the latest stories and blog posts about the possibility of a cashless society.

Think about this: Could you go cashless?

Try it or just tell us how you think it would change your lifestyle for better or worse.

The End of Money

http://gizmodo.com/5882836/lets-kill-cash-qa-with-author-david-wolman-on-our-moneyless-future

The Cashless Life

http://www.slate.com/articles/business/cashless_society/2012/02/the_cashless_society_one_man_s_quest_to_survive_without_bills_or_coins_.html

Why Cash is Losing its Currency

http://www.cbsnews.com/video/watch/?id=7403142n&tag=contentMain;contentBody

More Flash Than Cash (FT registration required)

http://www.ft.com/intl/cms/s/0/63a21dcc-6f68-11e1-9c57-00144feab49a.html#axzz1qKhqnUwR

Treasury to Cut Costs by Remaking Coins, Replacing Paper

http://blogs.wsj.com/economics/2012/03/28/treasury-to-cut-costs-by-remaking-coins-replacing-paper/?mod=wsj_share_twitter

Don’t Show Me The Money

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/innovations/post/dont-show-me-the-money-why-eliminating-cash-may-be-the-secret-to-prosperity/2010/12/20/gIQAOkT1bS_blog.html