Yes, I know that we can just use phone banking or internet banking to get things done, but you can’t withdraw cash into your hand like that. The only way to do that is to go to an ATM/branch and use a bank card. But now banks are attempting to move away from plastic and on to something more electronic. The answer? Smartphones.
New technology has been unveiled that will allow people to use a banking app to withdraw cash from their smartphones. At the moment this service is only available to those who bank with NatWest or Royal Bank of Scotland, but if it all goes well then expect more banks to take the initiative and implement these banking apps for all of their customers.
This is simple to use as all it requires is a password and a withdrawal code. In an attempt to prevent thieves looking over somebody’s shoulder the withdrawal code will remain hidden until the user taps the screen. The inspiration for this is from an emergency cash service. This emergency cash service enables users to withdraw a certain amount of cash from an ATM without using their bank cards.
As we can all see, the number of new initiatives designed to cut down on plastic and paper are all working to turn money into a digital commodity. Is this a bad thing though? Probably not. If we take a look at physical money then it can easily be lost. All it takes is a stumble and some coins can fly down a drain. For the banks it’s even better as they don’t have to deal with getting lots of plastic to their customers. It also means that it’s not an issue if the card isn’t brought in as the phone can be used instead. And people always seem to remember their phones as they are eternally texting or making pointless calls on it.
On the other hand, it could be argued that it will increase the chances of theft and fraud. It takes a lot of bravery to go out and hold up someone for their wallet, and that’s exactly why most people won’t do it. But if it can be done through a bit of watching or from computers then more people are going to do it. Furthermore, if this can be done from a computer, which online transactions are already at risk of, then how can we stop fraudsters if they are abroad? Simply put, we can’t. It might be more convenient but the risk of fraud does increase slightly.
Do I think it makes any difference though?
Not at all. Digital money is the future and it’s something that people have predicted many times before. If I had to make a prediction then I would estimate that it should take about 20 years for us to see the complete elimination of plastic bank cards, and that’s a generous amount of time.