Banking Strategist Predicts End to Cash in 5 Years ({{commentsTotal}})

Peeter Koppel Source: Photo: Postimees/Scanpix

According to SEB private banking strategist Peeter Koppel, there are two main reasons the developed world will soon get rid of cash: technological development and states' desire to increase tax revenue.

In five years, cash will be no more, Koppel told

"We have reached a point where 300 years of using cash comparable to its current form is just an anachronism. Dealing with it and keeping it in circulation is annoying and expensive," Koppel said.

New technology such as mobile phone payment systems is empowering governments' fight against tax evasion and the black market, he said.

"Of course the criminal world will also be forced to switch from cash to alternative payment methods, which are more difficult to use and have greater associated risks," Koppel said. Crime will become more expensive and [the change] should theoretically lead to its decline, he said.

"At the same time I must personally admit that, being a law-abiding and respectable person, the idea that a footprint is left behind by my every economic transaction still creates some discomfort. I also doubt somewhat that dealing a fatal blow to small enterprises operating on the borderlands of the shadow economy is the most beneficial decision from a societal standpoint," Koppel said.

Nevertheless, he said, technology and the desire to control will probably win out.

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