It is not uncommon for a person who has been steadfast in cash basis to become captivated by using cashless once.
Cashless is convenient because it doesn’t use cash, and you can also earn points and earn money. And the government is also supporting cashless society (* 1). Cashless uses digital technology and believes that the digital society will make people happy (* 2).
However, it seems necessary to dig deeper into whether cashless society is really convenient. This is because cashless use is a high hurdle for the elderly and children.
In this article, we will consider the challenges of cashless society.
It’s difficult not to leave anyone alone
If the current cashless society is difficult for the elderly and children to use, the IT companies, credit card companies, smartphone payment companies, financial institutions, etc. that are creating this system will have to improve.
Because Japan is one of the world’s leading aging societies, the elderly are one of the main users of payment services. Elderly people are also important customers for businesses, so it is not a good idea to make payments inconvenient.
And children are future payment service users. If you don’t let your children realize the convenience, you won’t be able to use cashless a lot when you grow up and earn income.
The point of this problem is that cash can be used by both the elderly and children without difficulty. In short, cashless today is losing cash in the payment area for seniors and children.
Low smartphone ownership rate for the elderly and children
One of the important cashless tools is a smartphone. This smartphone is also a cashless wall for the elderly and children.
According to the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications, the personal ownership rate of smartphones by age group in 2017 is as follows (* 3).
●Ages above the overall average of 60.9%
- 1st place: 20s, 94.5%
- 2nd place: 30s, 91.7%
- 3rd place: 40s, 85.5%
- 4th place: 13-19 years old, 79.5%
- 5th place: 50s, 72.7%
●Ages below the overall average of 60.9%
- 6th place: 60s, 44.6%
- 7th place: 6-12 years old, 30.3%
- 8th place: 70s, 18.8%
- 9th place: 80 years old and over, 6.1%
There is a clear tendency for smartphones to belong to people aged 13 to 59. The ownership rate for 13-59 years old is much higher than the overall average of 60.9%. On the flip side, smartphones are hard to use for people under the age of 12 and over the age of 60.
If your smartphone is not a payment tool, this tendency will not be a problem.
There is no need to force children under the age of 12 to use their smartphones, and those who have retired from active duty over the age of 60 or who do not need much information can live without depending on their smartphones. However, if smartphones play an important role as a payment tool, that would be a problem. This is because both children under the age of 12 and people over the age of 60 spend money.
If cashless society continues to spread and it becomes difficult to use cash, it will be difficult for children under 12 years old and people over 60 years old to shop.
Payment should be easy and easy
The Cabinet Secretariat’s Digital Reform Bill Working Group stated as follows (* 2).
●In the formation of a digital society, we will promote digitalization that is friendly to people who leave no one behind so that diverse people can select services that meet their needs and be happy by utilizing digital.
“No one is left” is a very strong catchphrase. This is a sign of the strong will of the government and at the same time the difficulty of benefiting everyone in the process of creating a digital society.
Since it is difficult for all the people to become accustomed to the digital society, they must have made a strong determination to “leave no one behind.”
Cashless is the digitization of payments, payment is the use of money, and spending money is one of the most important actions in the life scene, so anyone should feel free to use cashless easily. Must be. Cash is easy and easy to realize.
If there are people who can’t use cashless easily and easily, we need to improve the system so that it is as easy and easy to use as cash.
Elderly wall “difficult to see”
There is a QR code method for cashless using a smartphone.
To use the QR code method, the user needs to take out the smartphone when shopping at the store, launch the app, and read the QR code presented by the store. It’s a convenient way to avoid cash for young people, but it’s a barrier for older people.
First of all, the screen of the smartphone is small, and it has the disadvantage that it is difficult for the elderly to see and operate. It also has the disadvantage that the “concept” is difficult.
It is not easy to understand the concept of QR code, the concept of reading a QR code, and the concept that reading a QR code with a smartphone leads to payment of money.
Shopping is the process of exchanging money for goods. If you shop with cash, you can exchange things for money and you’re done. However, in the QR code method, the work of “taking out the smartphone, launching the application, and reading the QR code presented by the store” is involved during the act of exchanging money for goods.
In fact, the convenience of cashless is built on complex tasks, which confuses the elderly.
Children’s wall “It’s hard to understand the importance of money”
Next, let’s look at the cashless wall of children. There is such an episode (* 4).
For the children who go to the cram school, the parents gave them a transportation IC card charged with money. A transportation IC card is a card issued by transportation, etc. If you charge money in advance, you can pay the fare just by showing the card. You can also use your transportation IC card to shop within the amount of money you have charged. Transportation IC cards are also cashless tools.
My parents gave me a transportation IC card as a transportation expense, but my child bought food and drinks with it, and even treated my friends.
With cash, you only have to give the transportation expenses every time you go to the cram school, so this does not happen. However, it is virtually impossible to charge a transportation IC card for one transportation fee each time you go to a cram school, and as a result, you end up depositing a large amount of money with your child.
For children who do not fully understand the concept of money, transportation IC cards will feel like a hammered gavel.
Cashless not only makes you less cash, but also makes you feel less cash.
Summary-Is it really convenient? Expect further evolution
The inconvenience of cashless society in the digital world is a barrier for older people and children. Moreover, this problem is not small because the important living activity of settlement creates a wall.
And this problem can also be a challenge for young people and working generations. The reason why young people and working generations are mastering smartphones, QR codes, and transportation IC cards is because they learned by necessity.
Smartphones are now essential for getting information, and using cashless shopping can earn points, which can effectively increase your income or decrease your spending. If you start to pay a fee every time you use cashless, how many people will continue to use it?
Whether cashless is really useful is still controversial. And I would like to expect the development of cashless, which is completely more convenient than cash.