For thousands of years some material form of money has been important in daily. But now, all over the world, there is a move toward a cashless society - a society where out wealth exists in an electronic form.
Perhaps, no other country has moved as quickly toward that notion than China.
A report today on China's Peoples Daily (English) web-site claims that 84% of Chinese can now leave home without cash in their wallet/pocket. As I understand it they will make payments via a smartphone app.
An American reporter in China comments:
"Its mobile payment app, Alipay, and WeChat Pay, which belongs to the country's leading social messaging platform, together hold a commanding 90 percent of the market, leaving Apple Pay struggling to make inroads.
I recently spent a day in Hangzhou to see how easy it was to go cashless, and I found it somewhat ahead of other cities, including Beijing. I rode buses and subways, which all accept Alipay. I visited a major Buddhist temple, where visitors can make donations, buffing up their karma with a swipe of their phone.
I even listened to the plaintive tunes of a woman performing music on the street for change — or for a scan of a QR code, placed beside the change box.
Over a plate of noodles, a restaurateur named Ma Zhiguo told me that about half his customers pay for their meals with cellphones, and he uses his to pay most of the time too.
"I don't have to worry about getting counterfeit money, or having to make change," he explained."
And with a projected middle class population of 500 million in a few years, it would seem that the trend will only grow more popular in China
I'm likely in a (old-age-grin) minority (even here in Aust. where like most western countries, credit cards are in common use) but I'm not sure i'll be entirely comfortable. But thinking about it, I've already gone partly down that road. I pay for my public transport fares with a Govt. transport card, that I have to top up regularly. I could use a smartphone app instead of a card, but I don't want a smartphone. But I do appreciate using a web-based bank account that allows me to make payments directly into the accounts of people like my credit card, water and electricity suppliers and others.
Maybe I'm just a slow adopter.
How about you?