Living near cashless for the past 4 years

Cash is king. Or so the old saying goes. As we move towards a cashless society, we should rephrase into this thinking - money is forever king, but cash? We probably can do without it.

Take my case for example.

I have been living nearly cashless ever since I have my credit cards four years ago. I barely have much notes in my wallet. Receipts? Aplenty. Ask my mom and she can testify.

"Aiyo, your wallet always no cash, so poor meh! How you buy things?"
"Use cards lor!"

You see, the moment I step out of my house. I have no need for cash. Very very minimal actually.

My credit card with auto reload function, works as my ezlink card. Tap, and off I go to my office.

During lunch, I’d dine at restaurants where visa, mastercard are accepted. Even for Food Republic, I'd tell the cashier, "paywave pls". Occasionally, we'd dine at coffee shops which requires cash transactions. That's where if my wallet lacks cash, I'd just withdraw at nearby ATMs. Most of the time, I withdraw only $40😂 more than enough to last me a week.

If I need to shop for groceries, I'd use my cards too.

I also shop online. Things are cheaper and they are delivered to my house. And I get to clock rebates via shopback and my credit cards. #killingsomanybirdswithonestone

I don’t take taxis but when I do, I Grab and pay via my cc. I enter the cab, the driver confirms my destination and I hop off once I reach. How convenient. It also got me thinking that if I lose my wallet or met a lousy driver, or if the driver is up to no good, I’d have his contacts. Ok, I digress.

My reasons for not having much cash in my wallet are practical. One, seeing less cash in my wallet deters me from spending. Two, credit cards have made it very convenient for me to pay - I use it not only to clock rebates but as a way for me to track my transactions. From paying for transport, to dining, groceries and shopping, I don't have to transact in cash.

I believe many of us can operate without cash. But for older people like my parents, it'd take a longer time for them to get used to it.

You see, my parents rely heavily on cash. They use cash to top up their ezlink cards. They pay cash at the wet markets and supermarkets. They buy meals from hawker centres using cash. And, they give us angbaos in cash😁

They don't own credit cards. So debit cards are all they have. Perhaps to push more elders to embrace cashless payments, bank should send out new debit cards with paywave/paypass functions so that they can tap and go. So simple.

If you have been to China in the recent years, you would have notice how popular mobile payments are. I was in Shenzhen a year back and I was shocked by how advanced they were. I felt arcade using my renminbi to pay when people around me were tapping their cards or phones.

A closer look at the cashier made me realised why consumers there are so fond of making payments via their phones- it is because of the attractive discounts or freebies offered. I remembered standing outside a clothing store logging in to my Wechat in hope to "like" the store and receive discounts...which I failed, possibly because my account was based on my SG mobile number. And then there was once where we stood outside a bubble tea shop and saw this promotion where you only need to pay 5 RMB for a cup of bubbletea if you pay using WeChat. The usual price was 20 RMB. I exclaimed to my partner that I feel so sad that I didn't have a WeChat wallet!

That was when I realised the power of mobile payment in China. People uses it so frequently because everyone else embraces it. Discounts were aplenty. Even in Taiwan, night market stalls boast WeChat stickers urging China tourist to use mobile payment. Guess what? 9rmb discounts were given for each transaction. Can you imagine how much you save? Some night market food cost maybe $3 only leh!

In order for more people to embrace a cashless society, more discounts should be rolled out to encourage people to pay using digital money. Remembered the discounts offered during Apple Pay and Samsung pay period? I was one of the users because of the attractive discounts. However, I no longer use these as there were no incentives for me to make payment via phone. But I still continue to use my credit card though....and I will until they revise their rebates downwards and are no longer attractive to use 🙄 So, incentives must continue for people to acknowledge the usefulness of paying via digital money.