I used to think cashless payments were very intimidating. Which is why, when I discovered that one of the restaurants on my must-try list happened to have a “cashless payments only” rule, I was quite disappointed. To me, this made the establishment seem less inclusive and approachable, as it seemed to require everyone to have a credit card. Fast forward a few years later, and I’ve been converted into a believer that cashless payments are the future.
Even before the COVID-19 pandemic, I firmly believed that the Philippines — Metro Manila, at least — was ready to go cashless. But now more than ever, as contactless payments have become all the more attractive, I think it’s about time we go cashless for most of our transactions. Below, I share a few reasons why.
Cashless payments are more accessible than they seem
If you read the short anecdote I shared above, you’ll know that I, too, believed that cashless payments weren’t for everyone. But I eventually found that they weren’t meant to be intimidating at all. With the rise of piso savings accounts, debit cards, online banking, and e-wallets, cashless payments are now more accessible to more people. Yes, costly interest rates, hefty requirements, and a high maintaining balance are totally optional!
Don’t have a bank account? E-wallets are a particularly great option, especially because you can avail of their services with just your mobile phone; some of them don’t even require you to have a smartphone or mobile data. No fancy requirements, either — just a valid ID to verify your identity.
What’s more, these digital facilities allow you to cash-in your accounts over the counter at various convenience stores and bayad centres around the country. Even better, setting up an account is super simple — and some e-wallets provide you with virtual cards, too.
They take away the need for unnecessary contact
Online shopping? Ordering your groceries for the week? Receiving a delivery from a friend? Protect yourself and your delivery rider by opting to pay virtually instead! This way, making a contactless drop-off is much easier.
How about card payments, you might wonder? “Tap and go” or “wave to pay” options have been around for quite some time now. These cashless payment systems are definitely ones that more businesses should be investing in!
Money actually has more germs than you think
Not-so-fun fact: Did you know that money can harbour even more germs than a toilet? Cash can hold tons of bacteria and viruses — and since it’s always passed around from person to person, you never really know what kinds of germs you’re getting in contact with! (The same goes for ATMs, by the way.) It’s not like we can clean money either, right?
Splitting costs with others is much easier
We all have that one friend who takes forever to pay you back what they owe because they “don’t have cash”. The one who’ll give you a little less than the full amount because they “don’t have change, and it’s just a small difference, anyway”.
Well, it’s time to say goodbye to annoying situations like those! Cashless payments make it easy to pay the exact amount. Some apps make it easier to remind your friends about their utang, too. (Nudge, nudge!)
You’ll have an easier time keeping track of your expenses
Lent a friend some change? Paid for your sister’s cash-on-delivery order because she was out or asleep when it arrived? Went to your neighbourhood sari-sari store to grab a quick snack?
Most of the time, we don’t mind doing all these things because we just spare a few bucks — sometimes, we don’t even ask anyone to pay us back! And while this is all okay, a lot of us are guilty of not keeping track of our spending. But here’s the thing: even little expenses pile up, and it’s likely that you’ll eventually be left wondering where the heck your money went!
Going cashless definitely helps, because online banking accounts and e-wallets keep records of your transactions. More often than not, they’ll even send you receipts via SMS or email, too!
Opting for cashless payments sometimes gets you special discounts and freebies
Any excuse to save, right? While some online stores will give you special offers (magic words: free shipping!) when you opt to go cashless, some e-wallets also provide vouchers, rebates, and other special discounts when you use their payment facilities. The most kuripot titas out there certainly can’t miss out on these perks!
Have a lot of savings? Enjoy high-interest rates and other perks
Another money-saving hack: deposit your funds into an online account. This can help you grow your savings! Instead of leaving your cash lying around, why not earn a little extra? Some online banks offer more generous interest rates, and others will even provide you with benefits (e.g. free life insurance) when you maintain a certain balance!
No more requests for smaller bills
Pardon my complaint: But don’t you hate it when you just want to make a quick purchase, and are held up because both the buyer and seller don’t have change? I don’t know if it’s just me, but I’ve had my fair share of staredowns and awkward silences as the cashier and I both waited for someone to step up and resolve the situation. (Not anyone’s fault, of course!)
This being said, here are some of the best things about going cashless: No need to search or wait for change. No need to abandon your purchases if no one finds change at all (ouch!). No more passive-aggressive arguments with vendors. Sounds like a win-win, if you ask me!
Now that you’ve made it to the end of this list, I hope you’ll find that turning to cashless payments isn’t as intimidating (or exclusive) as it may seem. Of course, this isn’t something that can happen overnight — but it’s definitely something we can embrace over time.
Contactless transactions are the future, so let’s all hop onboard! But of course, cashless payments or not — let’s remember to always keep our hands clean.