Students apprehensive towards a cashless society

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[Photo by Annika Galloway]

Nordic countries like Sweden, Denmark, and the Netherlands have pioneered the idea of a cashless society. With frequent credit card transactions and recent cashless inventions such as Apple Pay and Venmo, students at the University of Denver may not have cash in their pockets, but they are not yet ready for it to disappear entirely.

In contrast to the world’s average of cash based transaction in stores hovering at 75 percent, Sweden leads the world with only 20 percent of all transactions in stores made by cash, TheGuardian reports. In the United States, credit or debit cards made up 66 percent of all transaction, meaning payments in cash are still trailing behind the European nations.

At the University of Denver, students seem to prefer using plastic forms of money. In addition to credit and debit cards students also use “Pioneer Cards” which allow students to preload money  and spend it on campus locations. Michael Anderson, a sophomore at DU explained that he does not typically have any cash with him, and pays for most things using his debit card or preloaded meal plan cash stored on his Pioneer Card. Although Anderson does not typically use cash, when asked how he feels about a cashless society, he was not pleased.

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“How do you feel about being a cashless society?” “I’m against it. I think cash doesn’t leave a paper trail like receipts or or anything, so it’s convenient for maybe some sketchy things.” Michael Anderson, 19, Sophomore- Business. Driscoll, October 2016 [Photo by Annika Galloway]

 

“I’m against it,” Anderson said, “I think cash doesn’t leave a paper trail like receipts or anything, so it’s convenient for maybe some sketchy things”.

Angie Natoli, a graduate student at the University of Denver also fears the security of a cashless society.

“Given the security risks of credit and debit cards, it worries me just a little bit because the more we rely on these items the more often that data is out there, the more easy it is for people to steal your identity,” Natoli said.

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“How do you feel about security in a society with out cash.” “Given the security risks of debit and credit cards, it worries me just a little bit because the more we rely on these items the more often that data is out there, the more easy it is for people to steal your identity. Angie Natoli, 23, Graduate student for Higher Education. Morgridge, October 2016 [Photo by Annika Galloway]

Natoli’s fears have become reality in the cashless society pioneer, Sweden. The New York Times reports that in the past decade Sweden’s number of electronic fraud cases has reached 140,000, which is double what it was just 10 years ago.

Renee Facchini, a junior at the University of Denver does not fear the possibility of fraud as cash begins to disappear, but said she was “terrified” of not having emergency money in the form of cash. Facchini recounted times when her prefered form of money, a debit card, had not always worked when she needed it to. Although Facchini admitted that a cashless society would not affect her daily life, she doesn’t trust electronic or plastic forms of payment to function properly at all times.

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“How would a cashless society affect your daily life?” “I don’t think a cashless society would affect me in any specific way, I still don’t trust using just debit cards in all situations.”Renee Facchini, 21, Public Policy. Driscoll underground- October 2016 [Photo by Annika Galloway]

Undeniably, the United States is using less cash than it was 10 years ago, and will likely use even less cash 10 years from now. As students rapidly try to adjust to our ever changing world, students at the University of Denver struggle to hold on to the familiarity of cash but are also drawn to the convenience of plastic money. Maybe it’s nostalgia, or maybe it’s the fear of the unknown, either way students at the University of Denver are not ready to give up on cash.

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