Remember cash? Do you still carry any? In the last few years with eMoney it has almost become non existent. New Zealand was one of the first countries to adopt EFTPOS as a way to reduce the risks and costs around cash management many yeas ago.
With so many people buying everything from groceries to electronics online or on finance, cash has become almost a thing of the past and something Kiwi travellers now find quite novel when we travel overseas.
It has been very interesting for the Government to deal with because in many cases where goods are purchased from overseas, they miss the opportunity to charge GST or other duties when parcels come from overseas in the mail.
New forms of virtual money have appeared and companies like Google, Facebook and Zynga have started creating their own value systems and many new barter organisations have appeared, while the old vanguards such as Bartercard are growing in popularity.
The old system of cash jobs, the grey market is probably the main area still propping up physical currency at all because even money transferred via eWallets through intermediaries such as the Telcos is still auditable. Out of interest, New Zealand hasn’t minted 5 cent coins since 2004, 20 cent coins since 2008 and the number of bank notes produced has been in decline at a rate of over 10% p.a. since 2010 even though our population has grown dramatically with increased immigration.
It is expected that within another 20 years bank notes and coins will become collectors items and future generations will look at them as an interesting historic item and wonder why anyone ever bothered with them.