Elon University

The 2012 Survey: What is the potential future of monetary transactions in an age of hyperconnectivity to data in the cloud? (Anonymous Responses)

Responses to this 2020 scenario were assembled from Internet stakeholders in the 2012 Pew Internet & American Life/Elon University Future of the Internet Survey. Some respondents chose to identify themselves; many did not. We share some—not all—of the responses here. Workplaces of respondents who shared their identity are attributed only for the purpose of indicating a level of expertise; statements reflect personal views. If you would like to participate in the next survey, mail andersj [at] elon dotedu; include information on your expertise.

Future of Money Survey CoverAnonymous responses to a tension pair on the future of money, the Internet in 2020

This page includes anonymous survey participants’ contributions to the discussion of the future of the Internet and money by 2020. This is one of eight questions raised by the 2012 Elon UniversityPew Internet survey of technology experts, stakeholders, and social analysts. Results on this question were first released by Imagining the Internet Director Janna Quitney Anderson and Lee Rainie and Aaron Smith of the Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project in April 2012.

In a recent survey about the likely future of the Internet, technology experts and stakeholders were fairly evenly split when it came to imagining what role using smart devices for transactions may play by 2020.

>To read the official study report online, please click here.<

>To read credited responses by participants in answer to this question, click here.<

Following is a large sample of the responses from survey participants who took credit for their remarks when sharing their thoughts in the survey. Some are longer versions of responses that were edited to fit in the official report. About half of the respondents chose to remain anonymous and half took credit for their remarks (for-credit responses are published on a separate page).

Survey participants were asked, “What is the future of money? Explain your choice and share your view of any implications for the future. What are the positives, negatives, and shades of grey in the likely future you anticipate?” They answered:

“Prediction: The adoption of smart-device payment systems went exceedingly well up until the blackouts of 2015 and 2016, which lasted several days in many urban areas. This permanently impacted the progress towards any sole reliance on electronic payment systems. Now in 2020 people rely on the four major methods of payment: Smart-devices, national currencies, networked work barter points systems, and the new global ‘poker chip’ currency that uses interlocking machine readable plastic chips that are impregnated with gold foil.”

“This is already under way, and trust will grow.”

“I don’t think people will trust in these devices. Recently in The Netherlands, the software of the Social Security System failed, making fraud possible. Because of the public opinion, people being afraid of disseminating private data, the company who delivered the software went bankrupt.”

“By 2020, most people will have embraced and fully adopted the use of smart-device swiping for purchases if smart-swiping programs find a way to work around the banks. The banks will have taken to charging such exorbitant fees for any use of the money that individuals have stored with them that individuals will cease to use banks. There will be privacy and technological concerns, but anger at the banks will outweigh those concerns.”

“By 2020 contactless payment technology will be widespread, even to the point of not requiring a physical ‘swipe’ of a device (but more like RFID payments at toll booths are today). I don’t think that physical devices like smart phones will be the focus of users’ interactions, though they will still power the interactions. By 2020 I really expect users to have persistent access to data via heads-up displays, virtual retinal displays and other technologies that further reduce the need for users to ‘translate’ their commands into input that devices understand (tapping, typing, etc.).”

“‘Globalisation’ is more an economic phenomenon than any other thing.”

“2020 is too soon for the conversion to digital money.”

“This one is difficult to predict. Even with NFC becoming a more prominent form of currency, I worry about a continued lack of cybersecurity for small entities as well as advanced targeting for larger entities. Hard to say but I don’t think everyone is hip to all digital, all the time.”

“The train has left the station. The only people who will need cash are those that are trying to hide something. Biometric identification technologies will be standard, so fraud will be reduced substantially.”

“Cash usage will increase to avoid creating records of purchases for sensitive items and to enable black market purchases that avoid excessive VATs or sales taxes. The United States will catch up with the European comfort with touch payments.”

“Hard money will disappear. This will emphasize the embedding of individuals in the digital world.”

“This is my hope, not my prediction. I think it’s dangerous to go down the road of a cashless society. We see what happened when a few people are in control of other people’s cash—the housing market crashing, manipulation, and scandal. The first paragraph scares me because I see it being at the beginning of a road of corruption. And I see it as a system that’s easily broken—not good.”


“It will happen, and this will be a horrible mistake.”

“Both trends will occur. As financial institutions increasingly push consumers to adopt cashless technology-based monetary transactions, people will indeed adopt these practices and appreciate their convenience. But there will be increasingly large and increasingly serious security breaches causing periodic crises as people stop using technology and as many people suffer both short-term and permanent losses due to these security breaches. Simultaneously, two underground economies will grow and exert negative influences on macro-economic growth and negatively impact financial stability. And underground ‘cash-or-barter’ economy that does not rely upon technological monetary transfers will emerge. And an underground economy—partly criminal and partly ‘alternative’—will emerge. These trends will further the increasing gap between the ‘haves’ and the ‘have-nots’ as both income and wealth inequality grow and the assaults upon the so-called ‘middle-class’ continues.”

“It’s generational and unless something really blows up security-wise in the next five years, then perhaps by 2030 or even 2025—not so sure of 2020. Baby Boomers will still be a major economic force.”

“People like cash, even in the world of credit/debit cards. They will not completely trust the banks and the fees they will impose to use these services.”

“Beyond security concerns are issues of access. We forget that a huge swath of this country does not have internet access, cannot navigate the internet, and would not be able to defend themselves against the inevitable fraud that would result from the above scenarios.”

“While NFC use will rise sharply, there will be a few highly publicized scares that will cause consumers to rethink adoption. My guess is that NFC transactions could be as high as one third, but I doubt it will be more than that.”

“Today’s NFC requires a smart phone, but future NFC devices will be the size of a credit card with e-ink touch screen, and non-volatile memory. Future NFC devices will overtake credit cards when they match the card form factor, robustness, and cost.”

“Unfortunately, I don’t see a level of interest or discernment, especially among younger people who just don’t think about potential consequences and value only ‘convenience’ and who will fall prey to the trappings of instant gratification and ease of use.”

“My formerly Luddite husband, age 58, has become a big fan of his smart phone and its capabilities, as well as the convenience offered by services like online banking. Put them together, and you have happy guy with less stuff in his pocket. I’m not sure this will happen by 2020, but that is still nine years out, and think how our behavior relative to other tasks has changed in the last nine to ten years—all due to smartphones, high-speed wireless, etc.”

“This seems obvious. I rarely use cash or checks already.”

“Cash and credit cards, as well as banks and the US Postal Service will be things of the past. This will definitely have an impact on those people who need the face-to-face interaction.”

“We will continue to willingly give up our privacy. Money is the easiest way to do it. We want convenience, not security. For most people, financial security breaches happen to everyone else. But, those it does happen to are at the mercy of a system that cannot yet help clear names and return money. The best indicator is that my credit card company is so willing to remove charges that I claim are false with little or no evidence from me. The future of money is digital. The methods will evolve, but I think we will be forced to participate (despite any personal reservations).

“I do think that our electronic modes of commerce will adapt to more smart-device usage, but I don’t believe cash will disappear. I live in Brooklyn where most small-business people prefer to deal in cash, because they are charged big fees by the banks. Consumers are also beginning to be charged for using debit cards, and if this continues, I foresee push-back against further bank greed.”

“As a technologist I hate my choice of selecting the second statement. The smartphone used as a credit card will only be adopted by folks that seek and embrace technology. By 2020, heck, getting people to not write checks in grocery stores would be a major accomplishment. Also, cash lets folks buy things they don’t want others to know about or track.”

“If you had said 2050, I’d believe your optimistic story. 2020 is just too soon.”

“I don’t think cash will disappear. There’s a large movement of people away from using plastic now, championed by people such as Dave Ramsey, who see cash as something tangible.”

“This shift shall also take longer than expected. Other than security and privacy issues, more prosaic problems such as costs or other hindrances—e.g. if you run out of batteries, you temporarily run out of money—may arise.”

“This is already the case in much of Europe; the American payment-and-clearance system is easily ten years behind. Experience with, e.g. supermarket incentive programs, has shown that privacy arguments are largely advanced by privacy advocates and for the most part ignored by everyone else; so if anything causes the failure of a transition to a modern payments system in the United States, it won’t be trust issues.”

“In 2020, this will be true in many societies. The challenge, however, is which companies will deliver the technology. Will it be an anonymous consortium, such as Visa, that sets standards and allows a variety of banks to participate to whom individuals have existing trust relationships, or will it be a single company that lacks transparency or has broad access to other types of individual information. The technical challenge for security is not different than preventing the modification of ATM machines to ‘skim’ debit cards. The barrier to entry for thieves will require some sophistication, so attacks will exist but not overwhelm societies’ general will and desire to participate.”

“People will be excited by the convenience of these devices, especially if the tech is placed in popular, trendy technology like the iPhone. Security concerns will be addressed successfully by industry standards, and that we will see widespread adoption within our lifetime.”

“It’s easier and unless there are massive security failures that eliminate public trust, there will be a great deal more e-finance.”

“This is already happening with the advent of automatic toll payments for cars on toll roads across the country. It is inevitable that similar technologies will be used by individuals. I suspect that eventually chips will be implanted so we won’t have to remember to carry our wallets with us.”

“The real question is related to the timing of this trend, not its eventuality. The majority of consumers in 2020 will still be from a generation bred to shop with credit cards, which will still have a strong enduring presence. Cash transactions will decrease more rapidly in advanced countries, but the incremental convenience of smart devices relative to credit cards will be a tough sell for those currently over 30 years old.”

“A growing number of economic transactions will indeed be conducted over the Internet, but a limit will be reached. Even if new technology reduced the likelihood of criminals (in the traditional sense, i.e., excluding ordinary financial professionals) interfering with electronic payment transactions, the notion that one’s entire financial identity resides in a safe, security electronic account that can only be accessed by oneself—and, say, only another two hundred thousand marketers, auditors, and policemen with approved credentials—will begin to wear on people. True financial privacy and security will become luxuries, but they will be luxuries to which everyone will aspire.”

“Consumers want smart-device swiping for purchases. Until they personally get burned, they are willing to believe that privacy concerns or piracy concerns don’t really exist for them. As more people do become victims, my hope is that this drives new privacy and security technology that works alongside smart-device swapping technology and we obtain the paperless transactions without insecurity.”

“The idea that this will happen ‘through the Internet’ is ridiculous because that substructure will change. It will be a networked communication process, but not ‘the Internet’ the way social scientists think of it. The formulation of this scenario, in technological terms, is really twenty years ago.”

“Smart-device swiping is like credit card swiping. Sure there will be some problems, just like with credit cards today.”

“I do think within a decade ‘cash money’ will be very scarce in day-to-day transactions. I am not convinced NFC will be the tech that wins, that can change for any number of reasons. What is key here is that ‘cash-like’ anonymity is built into the system. Which is why Bitcoin is so interesting.”

“The future of money will really be a blend of these options. Many people will adopt various forms of mobile money (such as smart-device swiping), and rely upon them for most transactions, thus reducing the need for cash or credit/debit cards in most transactions that occur in advanced, and developing countries. There will be a hardcore population who will resist (or be unable to afford) the use of such devices. With almost 40% of households currently possessing practically no disposable income (after food, shelter, transportation, and healthcare), openness to transitioning to an encompassing digital payment system will be slowed unless such systems become an unavoidable means for delivering payment for these essential products and services. At the same time, resolution of issues of liability and financial exposure on the part of the providers of such devices and services will need to be addressed in order to foster broader acceptance in the United States.”

“It is very convenient and people will use them in the same way debit cards have overtaken cash transactions.”

“It is essential to establish norms and practices around privacy that build consumer trust, and I believe the affected industries will have every incentive to do so. The key question is whether governments will work to facilitate the development of norms through multistakeholder organizations, and whether the industries can succeed in building widespread acceptance of those norms. Failing that, government is more likely to default to more prescriptive approaches, which are likely to delay innovation and the adoption of new technologies like smart-swiping. The final hurdle will be getting financial intermediaries, providers of wireless operating systems, wireless network operators, retailers, and other key stakeholders to make the compromises and concessions necessary to fully implement an interoperable system for handling such transactions. It can be done. It must be done.”

“Trust in the security of near-field communications is one issue, but more significant challenges exist to widespread adoption of contactless payment systems, such as widespread standardisation of interfaces. It is only fairly recently that credit/debit cards with chips and associated PINs have become very widely accepted in Europe, trying to use such cards further afield is typically challenging. In my view, PIN-secured debit and credit cards are already about as convenient and ‘electronic’ a system of payment as we’re going to see. The ‘contactless’ alternative doesn’t add enough convenience to offset the additional cost.”

“From a consumer standpoint, the advantages of ‘swipe-to-pay’ is obvious for small purchases, and with proper precautions, interesting for larger in-person purchases as well. However, for online purchases, it’s not adequate, so we’ll either have credit cards or something else. What’s standing in the way of both aspects is the incentives to both the large credit cabals (I hesitate to call them ‘companies’ as that would give their business some form of legitimacy) and retailers; in the former case, they’re heavily invested in the current technology stack and the control it gives them over transactions (as well as the visibility it gives them into our data), and in the latter, changing every retail outlet around the world is an expensive and time-consuming thing to do.”

“Hasn’t past behavior already borne this out? The almost ubiquitous adoption of debit cards has already shown that consumers are more than willing to bypass using cash and check. I am very comfortable in assuming that they would gladly add credit card to that list. The adoption of a smart-device as the point of payment seems an almost logical step and I doubt very many will raise enough of a complaint to change what is already coming.”

“I’m not sure that this will have become a reality by 2020, but I believe that many people will be attracted by the idea of carrying less things (that can be lost) with them.”

“I don’t like the term embrace. I think they will be forced into this, driven by global banks. If the US Federal Reserve has its way there will be a Global Reserve that will make even more money at the expense of the poor. By 2020 there will be a lot more poor people both from third world countries and from the decimation of the middle class in the first world countries. Like sheep, people will accept being tracked by electronics (cameras and smart phones). I think credit in general will decline. Banks can’t afford to loan poor risks money. They will be loaning money to the rich—for what purpose I have no idea—perhaps the rich can hire half the poor to protect them from the other half of the poor?

“I’m a bit old fashioned about payments. Swiping phones to buy things is going to lessen our discipline with money even more than credit cards have. Imagine sending your college kids to school and all they need to do is swipe to get another slice of pizza. It will set financial literacy back and increase debt, hence I think the adoption rate will be slow. I’d expect to see new forms of valuations first—barter included. Maybe I’m just down on the economy of the moment. I think the repercussion of buying with a swipe will be scary.”

“2020 is far too soon to see much change. Online bill paying has been around for fifteen years, and I would be surprised if a majority of bank customers use it now. If you had made 2040 the date, I would have chosen the other scenario. 2030 would be a toss-up.”

“These changes will be forced by businesses that will charge more for the use of cash and credit cards; a trend already in sight.”

“I chose the first, perhaps over enthusiastic, scenario not so much because people will embrace this type of purchasing, but more that they will not be offered alternatives. Here is where business may very well shape the behaviour of consumers, especially consumers who have had little experience with using cash, interacting with a bank teller, etc. Consumers may minimize the risk for the convenience.”

“There will be more and more security breaches. Fear will cause a retreat from new technology.”

“I would like to see the first scenario become reality, but ID theft seems to be keeping up with and even anticipating new technologies. Security systems tend to be reactionary instead of proactive. General sentiment recognizes that discrepancy and will lag technological acceptance.”

“I think this is almost here now for some countries and market segments. It will be driven by the business needs for trusted security for more virtual goods transactions like books, music, entertainment, etc.”

“Certain centers (Silicon Valley, etc.) will see higher adoption rates, but the center of the country will not move at all. There are still competing systems and the technology is fairly unproven, including issues of reliability and security. There are enough transactions that will be conducted using only cash. People will, however, learn the value of their purchasing data for their own and social uses.”

“For Scenario A, United States 2020 is South Korea 2004. As with all things having to do with wireless, the United States is at a technological laggard here; the open question is whether our lag with the rest of the developed world will grow further or shrink by 2020, but even if the United States were to progress at a snail’s pace, Scenario A is already true of urban populations for in OECD countries, and will be all but universally true by 2020, even exempting the United States.”

“What I find interesting about the scenario described this new technology being used in ‘advanced countries.’ This is being more widely adopted today in less-developed countries. People will adopt this new technology as soon as it is available.”

“We’ll get there, but in 2030 rather than 2020. It just takes time for the whole system—from hardware to habit—to shift. Look at how long checkbooks have hung around, and nobody has ever really liked them.”

“Money and financial institutions are powerful drivers of change. So I tend to believe in the first alternative, with the reservation that some people (and perhaps everyone in some circumstances) will continue to use cash and money cards.”

“The security problems associated with the use of new devices for making payments will be addressed sufficiently to make their convenience the overriding factor in their adoption.”

“Today, I seldom pay by cash.”

“Your mobile phone will be your e-wallet, your point of transaction devices, your PIN number keypad, and your embedded credit card. The 2020 timeline is a bit aggressive but in some cities, it will happen.”

“Don’t think cards will disappear, but cash seems to be biting the dust. Cash already takes longer at the self-checkout line.”

“The bank system is not ready to speed up this process, which will reduce its societal role. I don’t believe that by 2020 the smart-devices will replace credit cards. A combination of hybrid solutions (always based on banks) will take place in the field of payment, where banks will ally and interact with some of the big web interfaces.”

“It is very difficult to predict the future of money, but, yes, people will be very careful and selective in spending.”

“Other than an older generation, and some strong right-wing Christians who will fear the end of the world foretold as partly eliminating money entirely, I think most people will find this convenient and safer.”

“All it will take is one (or more) catastrophic breach to chill adoption of smart-device swiping—people’s bank accounts get wiped out or something else horrible. I personally would not use it for anything other than a cash substitute (paying a parking meter or buying a newspaper). I also do not trust doing financial transactions on a mobile device for the same reasons. I do a lot of financial transactions on the Internet with a secure connection so I am not techno-phobic.”

“Again, the timeline could be a bit rushed, but this will happen by the 2020’s.”

“Hopefully currencies will be resource-based fiat.”

“People really just want what they want now. I chose option one. I myself use cash all the time whenever I can.”

“There will be some adoption of mobile-device payment systems, but it will take longer than nine years for people to become comfortable with the security issues inherent with mobile payment systems.”

“My guess is that it will take more time than just ten years to see a mass adaption of NFC for wallet purpose.”

“I can see cash eventually disappearing, but not in nine years. By 2020 I don’t think enough of the population will have smart-devices to make such a change practical.”

“The future is really in between the two options offered here.”

“The future of money is the easiest thing to see. It is becoming more and more a function of numbers on a computer. I see a time when money itself becomes more of a concept of ‘credit’—the one science fiction concept that seems to be realistic. People are inherently lazy—anything that makes daily life go more smoothly they will accept unless there is a clear and obviously presented threat. As a consequence, smart-device swiping will become yet another marker of social status and social class, with money becoming a component for poor communities and a gray or black market. Convenience is very alluring.”

“I find myself limiting the personal information I provide online. The British phone hacking scandal brought home the security issues in a compelling manner.”

“They will adopt it. And hackers will have a field day.”

“I have a possibly vain hope that the security and reliability problems will be solved, perhaps for the former by biometrics.”

“Convenience will trump caution. The Internet users have grown up trusting devices. Banks will be taking the security risks so services will cost more to the swiper and the merchant.”

“Security is a major unresolved problem. This could be solved (partially) by mitigated by insurance or government sponsored programs like those protecting consumers from credit card fraud today.”

“Much like the personal check, cash, and credit cards will take much more time to be fully eliminated. The elderly and lower income groups will take more time to adopt these new technologies, making it critical for businesses and services to maintain the cash/credit card option. I don’t think the lack of up-take is a matter so much of trust as the time it takes for these technologies to fully integrate into the economy—they have to be more than the toys of the rich and young.”

“The format of a credit/ATM card is too ingrained in how people are used to dealing with money, and smart-devices have no chance of coming close to completely replacing that form factor by 2020. On the other hand, there will be a lot of use of near-field communications in that card factor—for example, I pay all of my transit fares with an NFC card that is the size and shape of a credit card, and that system is rapidly being adopted by most large transit systems. NFC will move to credit cards proper for convenience and reliability reasons (NFC reader required no mechanical contact). Smart-devices will embed NFC cards of various forms, but the transition in that direction will still be in progress by 2020. I don’t believe that either security or privacy will be gating factors. I think the primary gating factor will be that the credit/ATM card is so ingrained in how people are used to dealing with money that smart mobile devices cannot quickly replace it, but it has to change in an evolutionary fashion.”

“For a segment of society the first case will be likely—ie: They’ll ditch their wallet for their phone. But for a significantly large portion of the population that will not happen.”

“The level of fraud in on-line payments and devices is rising and there is little likelihood that trend will be reversed in the next eight years. Given some of the changes in the economy that make even temporary losses quite painful, the average person seems much more likely to want to keep closer control over some payments. Also, the expectations of privacy may be less pronounced in the United States, but in other places in the world there is an awareness of the impact of privacy intrusion, and resistance to it. In the United States there is also a strong undercurrent of concern about breaches and companies having too much information. We may eventually transition to a mostly-online payment culture, but it will take longer than eight years.”

“Cash will stay. But more digital money for sure.”

“To be honest, this opinion is more about me and my privacy beliefs rather than an evaluation of what I actually believe the trends to be. I think that the FUD around NFC, coupled with a lack of substantial perceivable benefits should keep NFC at bay for at least another ten years. Cash as a form of transaction has too many benefits to go away. And relating to the hurricane that just passed by, any system adopted is going to have to work well even in a disconnected and turned off environment.”

“By ‘most people,’ I assume this refers to Americans as opposed to everyone in the world. There may be major setbacks, and government policies must provide proper protections to consumers, but this is very likely the way things are moving.”

“The legal and security regimes for consumer payments are not keeping up with technological development. People could use Bitcoin, but don’t, by and large, because it’s too likely that they’ll make a typo, and delete their net worth. Chip-and-pin doesn’t work, not because the technology is mediocre, but because the security is nonexistent and the banks succeeded in getting the legal system to presume guilt on the part of consumers. Credit cards will persist not because they’re good technology, but because the security flaws are understood by the public, and because the liability rests sufficiently with the banks that banks do their due-diligence to maintain security.”

“If it’s not option one it certainly wont be because of the reasons in two. There’s no difference in terms of privacy or security to NFC cash as to credit cards. The real issue is whether we can overcome the chicken or egg issue (readers and devices) by 2020.”

“Individuals in advanced economies appear to want convenience. The trend to less cash would be even steeper if businesses encouraged, rather than discouraged, the use of credit/debit cards for small purchases. Even so, observing checkout lines in California shows very little use of cash in middle-upper-class establishments. Swiping offers the added benefit that your credential stays in your possession, eliminating the myriad ways credit/debit cards can be compromised when handed over. The transition will be accelerated by enforcement of consistent and more restrictive privacy requirements on the use of the personal data generated by using this technology, or decelerated by its lack. Thus, Europe may proceed ahead of the United States because of its more consistent and stringent requirements.”

“There will be a backlash against digital/electronic intrusion into person space.”

“Digital wallets here we come. Cash is dead.”

“People are attached to money in their pocket. There are many people who do not harbour good feelings towards banks and similar institutions, particularly in the current crisis.”

“Just as cash, checks, and credit cards have evolved to co-exist today, personal hardware will play roles and join the other three as but one means of economic activity. The others will not ‘be replaced.’”

“People trust technology as a form of civil religion (not what Robert Bellah was talking about in the 1960s but more metaphysical). Technology works and in an era when ‘progress’ seems to have stalled, technological progress is the one thing that seems sure, destabilizing as it is to many folks. So I think the push to a cashless society will continue and people, for better or worse, will buy into the discourse that ‘it’s the way of the future.’”

“The first choice—that ‘most people will have embraced and fully adopted…’ may be perfectly true for a relatively small subset of people, such as people in mid to upper class America (the continent) and Europe and their international peers. But the vast majority of people will still live in survival mode, lacking the financial, educational, and public infrastructure means of doing so. We have a very long way to go in the fight against poverty, preventable illness, education for all, and wealth equality.”

“There will have been some major incidents where people and companies will have lost zillions. By 2020 some devices in some markets will be worth the risk. This question, like others in the survey, belongs in the ‘the future is already here, but it’s unevenly distributed’ category.”

“Neither of these options is good. Also, I don’t know that much about trends in payment systems. However, I would have to choose the side of ‘change’ in payment systems over any option that says little will change. Payment is the last and in many ways most revolutionary frontier of digitization. I do however believe that the credit card companies will be in the forefront of that change, for better or worse.”

“While advancements will happen, they will be distributed unevenly across the planet.”

“This change will take place and an important test field will be Africa, where majority of people are unbanked but millions of them have and are been picking up mobile money already without becoming banked.”

“This is starting now and will continue to grow.”

“Smart-devices are already widely deployed in Japan. The deployment sequence might vary but the advantages that I’ve seen in Japan appear to be independent of the culture.”

“We will also see sharing economies and barter and trade; all kinds of new economic models; e.g. Bitcoin—virtual currencies in-world and real world.”

“Like credit cards, the law will require the financial institutions to bear the risks of loss, and while such devices will undoubtedly be the targets of fraud and theft, financial institutions will find ways to minimize it.”

“I not only reject swiping technologies, if I cannot pay in cash, I just do not buy and do without. I barter. I do not mind using non-fiat currencies.”

“Personal preference for option one, but I expect option two will be the norm beyond 2020. Just look at hi-tech adoption rates today: a significant segment of the population has little interest in using the Internet, and a lot of those that do use it do not trust online banking. Overcoming these reservations will take more than a generation as those with the most money will be around well beyond 2020—and their embrace or aversion to interactive financial transactions will make or delay ubiquitous use.”

“This will simply be too convenient for most people. Many people today are not aware or not concerned about the security issues of mobile banking. Data mining does not seem to concern many people, as most people seem to enjoy the targeted advertising and the recommendations made currently by many websites. If retailers invest in the technology, the consumers will go along.”

“Just to highlight that this will happen in the developed countries only.”

“What cash? Already, myself and peers in the NYC area rarely use cash. Based on ATM withdrawl records, I spend less than $4,000 per year in cash form. $7,000 if you include my wife. We write less than five paper checks per year. We each make six-figure salaries. Virtually everything we spend is done electronically.”

“We have a lot to solve in terms of security for digital wallets. It’s going to move much slower than 2020 to get that done. And I don’t think people will give up cash even if the digital wallet idea and security issues get solved. We haven’t solved the personal data and tracking issues, and as more info comes out, the public gets more angry. Until all these issues are solved the digital wallet won’t be ubiquitous.”

“Many people are already comfortable with similar forms of purchase such as Amazon one-click from phone, downloads from iTunes, and purchasing apps.”

“It will be more in the middle of these two—that the new methods for payment will be used in certain contexts but not in all.”

“I chose the first solution, however, I don’t believe that it will be the people’s choice. It will be the choice of a few that develop the secure technology or own the company, those that will make the money. Pessimistic, I know. Living today is a good example. One has to consciously make the decision, or be unable to make it, to not use technology for learning, news, money access, fixing your car, making travel plans, communicating, etc. Today it is more difficult to live without technology than even five years ago. Today my 83-year-old mother is texting, however, she does not use an ATM card. The generations will pass and senior citizens will have grown up on technology. Whether they forget to question it or monitor it will be interesting to see. I do agree with the second statement. Our individual and personal habits, thoughts, and lifestyles are being targeted by technology (people behind the technology). But we are at the beginning of internet life and I don’t think we can’t stop it. I’m hoping we swing back to the center and use it more wisely.”

“Again the time frame is too short. Micropayment systems have been around since the early 1990s and still have not made much headway. It just takes time to change the culture. Charge cards have been around since the 1930s but it was only in the 1960s that they really began to take off.”

“This will depend on socio-economic factors and cultural variations.”

“I never carry cash with me and have almost made the switch to all digital. I think paper money will still exist in 2020, but most people will have embraced smart-device swiping.”

“People will be sold this. It will marginalize many people. Others will attempt schemes of digitalizing their transactions as a way of avoiding taxes.”

“I think some of the first choice will occur, but not for most—greater than 50%—of the people because older adults will not be tech savvy enough to accept the shift. Hey, we still use pennies and dollar bills.”

“People are already highly dependent on insecure payment systems. The future systems will offer increased convenience with no loss in security. The biggest thing holding back electronic payment systems is the anonymity of cash for use in illegal purchases.”

“My sense is that people will use things that are easy and, we’ll see more identity theft and associated problems.”

“Banks, etc., know everything about us anyway. The device we use will stop being important.”

“The trend is to move away from material objects as a representation of value. Symbolic/digital value will emerge. Of course, piracy and security problems will increase. Bio identification will tie to value.”

“Well-educated/wealthy people will not touch money any more; but the majority of the population, will keep on believing in ‘touching the bill.’ As today, e-banking will cover all of the corporate formal market. For the majority of SMOs, smalls neighborhood shops and the like, money will keep reigning; paying for the e-banking service still will be too expensive, too weird, or just not-existent (no network available). I cannot imagine paying with PayPal after bargaining in a market at El Cairo.”

“We can get on board airplanes with boarding passes on smart phones now; why not buy groceries the same way?

“That is a scenario I can clearly see—when change is lead by powerful actors—in this case the market, and results in convenience for consumers, it is likely to be quickly adopted.”

“This will happen, watch as the move towards electric vehicles starts to happen, new infrastructure will come into play and NFC will be a key component to this.”

“History seems to teach that the public prioritizes convenience over privacy. I do not expect the trend to be reversed.”

“Pretty hard to guess about this one perhaps because of my own caution about online transactions of any type.”

“People will want to retain as much control as possible over their assets. This is human nature and the entire world will not be wired at this point in time.”

“The transition to digital wallets has been painfully slow due to infrastructure rollout and consumers’ concerns on privacy and security of such services. In ten years, both of these factors will have been resolved and the usage of digital wallet will represent another advancement that simplifies people lives.”

“As with credit and debit cards now, whatever security concerns people may have will be overridden by the convenience of smart-device swiping.”

“Money issues will most likely be driven by the market. If there is an economic will to change the way transactions take place, the consumers will follow.”

“I am really in between these two answers. While I enjoy using electronic deposits, ATM cards, PayPal, and others, there are times when the anonymity of using cash is splendid.”

“I choose option one with some restriction: This might be right in some advanced countries (such as the United States, some Northern European countries, etc.), but not for, for example, Southern European countries. Furthermore, this evolution will depend on the overall evolution of the financial and economic markets. In case of a major crisis, neither option one nor two will happen, but real values will be reinforced (such as gold, but not even cash).”

“Judging by the degree that this has changed in the last 10-20 years and projecting it out, it is possible that this change will occur. I am not sure that it will be fully adopted, but the change will continue.”

“Convenience and coolness will prevail, even if the risks increase at the same time. That happened with credit cards and it will happen again with smart phone swiping.”

“The advance of Bitcoin is leading to the potential of a more interesting digital currency, but considering that debit/check cards have been out for many years and people still carry cash, I don’t see people getting rid of either. The difficulties of setting up the registers to process electronic monetary transactions is a pretty high barrier for entry and won’t work in many settings (for instance, your local farmers market or a bake-sale in a school).”

“I would not feel comfortable combining my credit card and my phone. Too many eggs in one basket. I think people will increasingly feel that way as the dangers of that kind of concentration of knowledge, power, and control become clearer.”

“In Europe credit cards are much less used than in the United States anyway. But I don’t think they will disappear as they are still needed in less developed countries. Moreover it will take much longer than 2020 until everybody has a smart phone. Cards will not disappear for a very long time, but it might happen.”

“While I mostly agree with paragraph two, and I believe this scenario will happen, I think it won’t necessarily be across the board but instead will move more like a wave starting with younger people. They seem to trust electronic communication and financial transactions much more than older generations and will have no trouble adopting yet another new way to use technology.”

“I’m half-way on this one. Some will be happy to use smart-devices, but when even credit cards and debit cards are synonymous with serious security issues, I’m not certain that we can expect wholesale adoption of smart-device swiping. (Or perhaps I’m saying that perhaps people may use smart-device swiping, but perhaps should not trust their money to cell phone carriers.)

“I don’t believe people will ever trust banks, the government, and themselves enough to rely solely on digital payments. If nothing else, people lose their cell phones too often for them to be a primary payment device.”

“This is already happening in many parts of the world. The American use of checks in considered quaint in this day and age.”

“The technology can be made more secure than current credit cards. Convenience and incentives will drive adoption.”

“Convenience will trump fear.”

“I think we’ll be somewhere in between, using all means.”

“I will be more trusting of that change being more largely effective. The diffusion of cell phones including in the South is a prospect for such change. Credit cards may not disappear but evolve. The same way that the difference between a phone getting intelligent and a PC getting like a phone will blur.”
“I find myself using technology even though I’m keenly aware of the risks. I don’t expect that others will be more careful than I am.”

“I think that the 2020 timeline for the mass-adoption of smart cards is optimistic. There is still considerable resistance even to using debit cards for purchases in some demographic brackets. I would think that 2030 would be more realistic.”

“Pending a major reversal—such as the impossibility of keeping data secure—this is the natural tendency.”

“Awareness of privacy issues is not high, due in large part to credit card and other industry business strategies to obscure the data gathering dimension of online commerce. If there were more transparency in this personal data accumulation business, people would probably not feel as comfortable with Wi-Fi financial data transactions. The trend is not to provide greater security; it is to make bolder promises that no one will be harmed. And the perception of such PR nonsense is going to define the reality, so this is why people will ‘embrace’ the ‘smart’ device transactions.”

“This is already happening and the trend will continue. Cash and credit cards are very different and should not be lumped into one question as done here. The future of cash is much different then the future of credit cards. The physical card will be used less frequently, but credit will continue to be primary.”

“I think this technology is still seen as a gimmick—it may become more popular, but I don’t think that it will overtake credit/debit cards for most transactions.”

“Cash and credit cards will still persist in most of the world in nine years.”

“This is happening as we take this survey. Busy people in advanced nations are willing to sacrifice security for convenience as life’s challenges increase.”

“The biggest issue will be reliability. While I do think near-field payments will increase, the need for easy (and sometimes anonymous), reliable payments will be far more in demand.”

“Whatever is cost-effective for business management will always determine the nature of commercial activity.”

“As people become more comfortable with their lives on the Internet, this trend will continue to accelerate.”

“Actually I think the real issue is the resistance of the financial sector. Look at the tremendous challenge in getting chipped credit cards in the United States and the problems that causes folks who travel abroad (and the flip side in the United States—European travelers being asked to type in their zip code at a gas machine). Things just move slowly in the financial sector and these changes will take far more than eight years.”

“Any privacy concerns will be outweighed by convenience.”

“Cash is disappearing as we speak!

“It’s possible. I personally like the idea, but know that there is a generation of people who still write out checks.”

“When credit cards arrived, people were reluctant to accept them at first. The ease and convenience rather quickly overcame all but the most conservative. I think e-transactions are already on a similar path to adoption.”

“Many of my friends no longer use a check book. I happily foresee the time when we don’t have to walk around with wallets of cash and credit cards—that all too often get stolen!

“Even now I almost never have cash. If I could get rid of my wallet and all the silly cards I carry I would. If I could, I would in a moment switch them over to my phone or some sort of all in one device. No doubt.”

“The future of money is increasingly wired into the machine and further away from the wallet. Society is already moving to electronic money. Go to any Starbucks and watch people swipe their cards for a $4 latte. In other countries, smartphone-enabled purchasing is already taking hold, particularly in Japan and Europe. Online purchasing in the United States continues to accelerate. Further, every physical media form—books, music, videos—has been replaced by electronic media at some point. Money is simply the next logical step.”

“The average consumer is generally unaware of the security issues with the use of cards. The convenience factor is also quite high. There is already a major move towards the use of cards rather than cash, even for relatively small purchases. Two decades ago, it was common for a merchant to refuse limit credit card use to purchases over $20. Today it is common to see cards used for $5.”

“Arguing otherwise is like arguing against the adoption of credit cards in 1960.”

“Assuming we’re talking about advanced countries, I think cash will have mostly disappeared, as well as the use of credit cards in point-of-sale transactions.”

“Thinking a global level, the change of traditional behaviors will need more than one generation.”

“NFC will be ‘embraced’ for ‘small’ transactions. I suspect large transactions, such as purchases of home or cars, will be much more traditional, but that people will rapidly adopt NFC and its successors for coffee, fast food, and other ‘small’ transactions.”

“People already view their phone as the most important item to take with them when they leave the house. I believe they will love being able to leave a bulky wallet behind when they leave, too.”

“Use of electronic wallets/mobile phones used for payments will depend on whether the security issues can be addressed.”

“Cash won’t go away. It’s anonymous and more obvious that it is genuine.”

“There are two forks behind my choice here. The first fork is that people are (at present) not educated enough to understand digital security threats, and that financial and commercial institutions have a timely window to develop ‘convenient’ services that overlook the dangers. I hope but doubt that this is a short-term phenomena. The second fork is based on the work of various groups of people working to make a ‘personal data ecosystem,’ which will move some of the value of Internet-working and commerce out of the wallet and into different forms and perspectives of ‘currency.’ For example, we don’t currently assign a monetary value to communities of practice, or to learning from one’s networks. However, there is value that can (in the future) be realized from those environments. The explorations, discovery and developments are early, and I am optimistic about this work.”

“Most people are not as worried about the privacy risks as the experts are. And even if most people understood the risks as well as the experts do, they still wouldn’t be as worried.”

“I look forward to the day! The last generation of cash-holders and check-writers will be pretty much gone by 2020. What will become of the Mint?

“You’ve got a lot of stuff in this bi-pole. Cash is going away, but debit cards will stay. The technology to support mobile devices for payment will simultaneously support swipe cards and near-field cards. In 2020, people will swipe their debit cards, use mobile devices for payment, and a little cash. Near-field transactions will not take hold as quickly as mobile device payments.”

“I agree mostly with the first scenario, especially in ‘advanced’ countries and within advanced countries, as in: not between or among countries, but within one nation or union. I feel like we are already very close to this scenario in the United States, and I recently returned from the Netherlands where I also feel that they are close to this scenario, but the two do not overlap: I could not use my United States credit cards or other non-cash means while I was there; nor would their chip and PIN cards work if they were in the United States. As far as the resistance to technology companies having access to personal information, I think we’re already beyond that in the United States. Just look at the kinds of personal information people put on, say, Facebook without even thinking or realizing it. I think by the time Americans realize just how much information they’ve given up, it will be too late for them to do anything about it.”

“Simply as a demographic matter, people used to using paper money and credit cards will not abandon them within the next decade. Baby Boomers are unlikely to make this transition en masse. And Baby Boomers will still comprise a sizable segment of the United States population in 2020. Cultural changes don’t happen as quickly as forecasted in many of these scenarios. Changes in values, practices, and social institutions occur gradually over generations.”

“While I think that smart-devices will eventually change the way we purchase things, I think it will take much longer than most technologists think. After all, we still see significant use of checks, even though credit and debit cards have been with us for more than two decades. Cash and coins have been in use for millennia, and are unlikely to disappear any time soon. Money is a mechanism for conveying trust, and people are extremely reluctant to abandon something that has worked well for so long.”

“This is largely happening already, though the impacts of the data mining and profiling have not been fully felt or examined.”

“Paranoia wins out. There’s too much risk and, given the current economic climate, I think people are going to remain wary of that risk for a long time.”

“Definitely agree with scenario one, with one glaring exception: There will be digital forms of cash. How else are we going to buy drugs and other informal economy items if we can’t use anonymized forms of money (i.e., cash) to do the transaction? In Africa, a lot of people use the M-PESA system, trading phone minutes like cash. I suspect that a system like this will evolve into the cash of the future.”

“Interoperability issues and security issues are not solved and I do not see them solved soon.”

“It is still too early to tell. It all depends on how the security concerns are addressed and most importantly addressed in time.”

“We are on our way towards fully adopting smart-device swiping, but the security concerns (and real technology issues) won’t be solved in the next ten years.”

“This will be true for digital natives, but not digital immigrants. PNC reports that 17% of their non-cash transactions are paper checks. They also report that their student load business is increasing. So, young adults will use the smart transactions, while the older adults, over the age of 40, will use bank-by-phone services.”

“Unfortunately the way in which the Web is moving is mobility and full integration of communications and commerce, something that is very hard when one considers the privacy implications of this. There is trust and this is the problem.”

“Perhaps not by 2020 though.”

“Most people have not thought through the security or privacy implications of digital money. They enjoy the convenience of technology-enabled financial transactions, as long as they can afford them (charges for using digital money) and nothing happens to them (identity theft or unwarranted surveillance). Still, if the economy of advanced countries does not improve and especially if economies decline precipitously, people may become more anxious about what they actually have as safe, perhaps tangible, media of exchange, about whom they trust to assist them with their exchanges, and about how they think financial exchanges might best occur in light of ‘hard times.’

“I’ve been waiting for this to happen since I first heard of wallet phones in Japan a few years ago. Smart-device swiping for payment makes sense in most developed countries, as long as they have the technological infrastructure and security systems to back it up.”

“This was one of the more difficult choices. I chose the latter because I honestly do not see the older generations being comfortable with this idea—I still know many people who refuse to pay bills online or own a bank card—something which I have never understood but I see every day. While this is most likely to be at least a stepping-stone to the evolution of how we purchase goods I do not see it fully being accepted by 2020.”

“Smart-device swiping for purchases is a huge convenience. Just like credit cards before them they are a big time saver and use of ease. I think they will be easily adopted by all people and the security for them will advance to point that there will be no more worry than there is with credit cards today.”

“The Baby Boomers will still be a large percentage of the population in 2020. They will definitely not accept a move away from cash and credit cards. In general, I don’t the association of cash and credit cards as valid—credit cards are much like debit cards and are considered by most users as an electronic transaction. I think that security concerns will keep most people away from using mobile devices to handle financial data or transactions. If more banks go the route of Bank of America, and start instituting monthly charges for the luxury of using debit cards, then some consumers will retreat back to cash. Comparing this question to the failure of the dollar coins, I think it’s clear that Americans are not interested in making changes to their financial infrastructure. During times of economic hardship (like the current recession), I’d expect that’s even more try.”

“Consumers 30 and under will easily use these digital payments. Older consumers, or poor consumers will be more reluctant to move to this technology. And for this part—you can quote me. Banking fees will significantly affect the speed of this conversion. If banking fees are reduced or eliminated by using smart swipe technology consumers will move to it faster. If fees remain the same or cost more, consumers will use whichever method is easiest and cheapest for them individually.”

“I can easily see an adoption of smart-device based purchasing, but the broad statements about ‘cash and credit cards…disappeared’ is too much. I can see that most consumers would have very little security concerns around the use of their cell phones to make purchases, however there also needs to be a compelling business reason for stores to make the service available. Without the introduction of a new force into the credit card industry, there is very little reason for them to make the change at this time. This is an innovation that is interesting, but does not really seem to meet any genuine need or solve any significant problem. As a result, its adoption is not certain, and will most likely be slow. Besides, wallets aren’t going away. We still need a place to keep our drivers licenses.”

“I do not think that this will happen if Bank of America and other banking entities tie the virtual wallet to fees. Monetization and use of smart wallets will happen, but only if there is a perceived value to it that is free of fees being driven up by the greed of the already greedy banking industry.”

“I have not yet adopted smart-device swiping, but do nearly all of my banking and bill paying electronically. I use PayPal for a variety of transactions. I am certain within a few years I will have adopted smart-device swiping. I do ponder the extent to which the international currency system is vulnerable to cyber-attacks. It is probable that there will be numerous setbacks along the way as companies struggle to protect customer data and the transaction stream. However, the convenience and speed of online transactions means that this genie is well and truly out of the bottle.”

“The younger generation will make this move necessary.”

“Phasing out physical money is taking way too long as it is. At least from a crush-the-underground-economy point of view, surely, this sad state of affairs will be fixed by 2020.”

“The first scenario is my choice, but I suspect reality will be somewhere between the two listed. Convenience will win in the long run and smart devices will become more secure.”

“Credit cards are already pretty convenient. I don’t think most consumers want to put their financial data at risk by connecting it directly to a communication device. Additionally, what’s the financial incentive for retailers to participate? They already hate paying credit card fees. Why would they pay to convert their entire revenue system again after just getting set up for credit cards?

“We will arrive much sooner than 2020. Money is not an object like a dollar bill, it is a ‘value’ assigned to a ‘unit.’ I can definitely see a near future where most everyone uses a code or a biometric (thumb print) to pay for purchases.”

“I don’t think everyone is going to go fully with smart devices. I’ve had my credit card number stolen three times in my life—all from online purchases at different, yet credible, online vendors. I do not trust everything going through the Internet. I am sure that for people that have had their identity stolen, they would want to use cash more than credit cards.”

“The truth is in the middle. Adoption of electronic wallets will come, but not by 2020.”

“It seems obvious that whatever makes paying for purchases simpler and faster will win. Not having to carry credit card or store affinity cards around sounds like a great idea.”

“This is a tough one, but it seems that convenience and a guarantee of privacy and security is enough for most people. We went from holding our own money, to trusting banks, to trusting credit card companies—an even more convenient way to spend will be welcomed.”

“While this is the trend it may be an expensive trend for the consumer. I believe it was Bank of America or Chase that announced today they will begin to charge customers $5 a month to use their debit card at retail establishments. The switching to a cashless society will depend on the cost.”

“A lot less people will carry cash, but not a strong change in the next eight years.”

“Again, economics will require that we provide the needed level of security.”

“The future will see something in between the two choices—leaning more towards the second choice.”

“Surely, there will be some gigantic and horrible breach between now and 2020 that will affect trust.”

“We are already advancing beyond the money stage. Mobile devices will become primary and security issues will be developing to meet the needs as technology advances.”

“By 2020, we will be very comfortable with mobile and online transactions. Cash will be less and less used, although some form of ‘credit card’ (what that form is) will remain. More likely it will be more of a debit card with instant transactions.”

“A few huge data breaches will occur and scare consumers from heavy reliance on smart devices. Perhaps we will rely on smarter credit cards?

“Money is gone, privacy is dead. Get used to it.”

“This question depends not on the technology but on the banking policies toward these services. Banks can drive customers in this direction by the kinds of fees and services they offer.”

“Mobile payments will become much more prevalent, but there will still be a sizable proportion of the population who do not trust them. Cash and credit cards will remain options though paper checks may be phased out of the United States by then as they are in other countries.”

“Mobile money is coming; it is just coming slowly in developed countries (like the United States) where there are so many entrenched options to do payments and banking. And it is starting to flourish in developing countries, notably in Kenya and rural South Africa, where there is virtually no bank branch, POS, or ATM presence. It will continue to come along slowly in the United States and Europe, but come along it will.”

“Eventually, we will probably go completely digital, but a decade is too short of a timeframe. People have deep concerns about privacy and it will take time to ensure/assure people of the safety of strictly digital money.”

“Convenience and security are king. The e-wallet provides both. Why wouldn’t we move in this direction?

“Having traveled in Japan, the convenience is staggering. My only concern is security, which is not as much of a concern in Japanese culture.”

“While I don’t think they will have mostly disappeared, online payment will become much more commonplace. We are becoming more and more trusting of online finance, among Millennials the difference is perhaps most marked, but widespread adoption of this will take longer than 2020.”

“This is definitely where we are going. Many people are still uneasy about mobile financial transactions, but I think that mindset is shifting.”

“Absent severe security issues, more convenient, powerful technology tends to take over.”

“As much as I believe smart devices are the future and I hope to move to a cash-less society, I believe human fears of monetary and identity theft will prohibit that future.”

“As a privacy professional (and an old-school type of person) I know that I won’t ever trust electronic money. That doesn’t mean that I won’t use it though. And, I know this will be the case with most other folks—since convenience and speed seems to always trump privacy.”

“While I don’t agree with the words ‘fully adopted’ or ‘mostly disappeared,’ I checked this first statement because I agree less with the statement in the second option, ‘the use of mobile devices will not have gained a lot of traction as a method for transactions.’ Just as security concerns over making online payments plummeted over time (despite scandals, fraud, and scams), why shouldn’t phones assist us in this way. Think even of the EZPass device I stick in my car to pay the turnpike toll—it would be nice if I could have that as part of my phone. One less piece of e-waste!

“Paper money and coins will eventually become obsolete—something featured on Antiques Roadshow. The convenience of swiping a credit card to pay, paying off the credit card online is only the beginning of being able to ‘pay’ for things and services via smart technology. Will this move pose a danger of greater overspending? Or will people in the future have a different sense of what money or credit is?

“What will actually happen is likely a melding of the two scenarios. Younger generations will embrace smart-device swiping for purchases more fully than older generations because they don’t remember a time when there weren’t smart-devices. Count me among the older generation then, but I have deep concern about having my smart-device function as my wallet. When they are lost (which happens frequently) the risks would be too great.”

“There are too many problems with security and near-field communication devices that will not be solved anytime soon. People already let technology companies know too much about the personal habits, not just purchasing habits.”

“Yes, but there will be quite a significant number Luddites remaining in 2020 and beyond.”

“It’s practically the case now; I never carry ready cash. The downsides are the security issues and platform stability issues which must be conquered by this current generation. Human rights issues associated with identity protection, such as the right to privacy, will be troublesome and difficult to resolve.”

“Virtual cards and mobile money are more popular in England and Great Britain, but much like scanning your airline ticket via your iPhone or a coupon at the checkout, by 2020, many transactions will be mobile.”

“The rate of adoption of cashless exchanges is increasing from the bottom up—meaning from Generation Y to X to Baby Boomers, however, until smartphones become less expensive and their securities increase there it is unlikely smartphones will become the predominant vehicle for monetary exchange.”

“Already people are buying online—albeit with credit card, and they are using EFT rather than cheques or cash. The two will definitely combine.”

“That’s the development in United States, Europe, China, etc.”

“Option one, we are already doing this.”

“Hacking Internet data will become more common, and so will the preventive controls to prevent it. In my wallet, I carry $50 in paper money and a credit card. Very seldom do I use cash, the $50 is always there.”

“I bank and shop online routinely. It works for some things; it doesn’t for others. Offline, credit cards aren’t ubiquitous. Some employees still opt for printed paychecks rather than direct deposit. I do not see cash disappearing (though the penny might).”

“Precious metals to printed money to credit cards to Google Wallet: the trend seems to be towards ease, and, in this case, digitizing transactions.”

“It is happening now.”

“I think we’re definitely on the path to scenario one, but not sure it’ll be quite as fast as 2020.”

“At some point, there will be a major security breach, and people’s personal financial information will be open for all to see. This will make individuals wary of giving up control over their monetary transactions. There will also be a continuing divide between rich and poor. If you can’t afford a checking account, how could you afford a ‘smart device’? Will a whole new industry develop to serve this population, similar to the payday loan factories in poor communities, and around military bases?”

“Unfortunately, until the have-not’s catch up with the have’s, doing away with cash will not happen.”

“This is a no-brainer. Cash is already disappearing and people are not wedded to credit cards. Whatever is fastest (given sufficient security) will work. There are real implications for macro-economics, as faster money will be harder to manage by the federal reserve; and the government will lost the benefit of ‘float’ on it’s fiat currency.”

“Human beings have always had some form of exchange of valued goods and services. So this is only a question of technology. Scenario one is already taking place.”

“The cost of transactions will be a big deciding factor. The current move to increase fees for debit transactions could cool that area of growth.”

“While electronic financial services will continue to thrive, people will not abandon credit cards and cash. Electronic systems are not always reliable or transparent. If the United States cannot get people to use a dollar coin, it is unlikely that people will abandon the physical reassurances of familiar coins and currency. The future will continue as a combination of financial transaction methods, depending on the moment, the amount, the vendor/institution, and the comfort level of the consumer.”

“Smart phones are already making great strides in this area, and individuals are increasing trusting and relying on personal software and hardware. Security for these types of devices and applications will be paramount to their success in this area, and I expect more limited use in the traditional ‘credit card’ transactions (generally this will be controlled by the credit card companies) and much greater use for ‘debit card’ activities, which is driven by the consumer.”

“We’re well along the way to eliminating the wallet now. The apps we find useful now will be just the start to easing the merging of technology and commerce. Once again the economics of efficiency will bring about the evolution of easier and easier transactions. Security will not be a problem. There will be solutions for to counterbalance the fraud potential.”

“NFC adoption will require mass utilization and a trendy media rollout to be successful.”

“It may depend on where you live. Based on my (admittedly limited) understanding of privacy and security standards, it seems that the United States errs more towards the side of business, while Europe and Japan currently have stricter Internet privacy protection. I may also be influenced by having heard about the Internet ‘worm’ that is the subject of a new book. Also, I just got a message that my financial information may recently have been compromised when someone’s iPad was stolen from a bus. I had paid for tickets to an event and my information was on the iPad.  Who can tell— a lot can happen in eight years.”

“I think this will happen. We transitioned from personal interactions from bank tellers to using ATM cards to depositing and withdrawing money, now those same ATM cards are used for most of our purchases. Security is already poor and seems to be accepted as part of modern life.”

“Carrying around a bunch of cards is nuts. The Internet is also offering some clever new ways to make payments. We see today that banks are going to be charging for debit cards, which will create an interest in seeking out other options. Also, it is not unreasonable to assume that pocket devices will have the power of desktop computers within a few years. With a few plug-ins, they will likely be your access point for all electronic communications. Why not also use these devices for financial transactions?

“Trust in high-tech monetary transactions will improve as smart-swipe and other devices are more common and more affordable, and as today’s technology-proficient teens become adults. Generally, suspicions about the safety of mobile devices and other financial technology are based on one or two widely publicized incidents or rumors that spread like the old game of ‘gossip.’ Unfortunately, this shift is likely to become a political football because greater regulation may be required to maintain security and confidentiality of data.”

“I prefer the electronic mode of payment. I carry debit cards in lieu of cash and could easily transition to a mobile device. The older generation, my own, still is exceedingly adverse to dealing with electronic transactions, partly for security reasons, partly because they are slow on the uptake with electronic anything. It is only a matter of time before we convert to electronic purchase. Positively, that is a much more efficient utilization of time and expense. I almost feel hostile when someone wants to deal with paperwork and not electronic transmission.  Negatively, there are certainly security considerations, but those will improve at the same rate as the technology builds.”

“The first option sounds nice, but until it’s proven to be trusted and secure it’s still subject to question.”

“At least given the context of time and place as of now, I don’t think people will be willing to use ‘cybercash’ in lieu of traditional modes of payment due to security issues. However, this may be viable for people as technology progresses, and virtual security has improved.”

“Security problems will not be solved. Many people will not trust them even if they are solved.”

“In order for consumers embrace electronic transfer of funds, banks need to stop outrageous fees for ATM use and start treating debit cards (from a checking account or otherwise) as cash. Bank of America announced it’s going to start charging $5 a month for debit card use. Really? Sounds like a good reason for all of us to start walking into banks and asking for cash.”

“Protection of personal data and privacy have become an important topic for people. Paying in cash is an act of resistance.”

“I think the first paragraph is more likely but there will be many who remain suspicious of thing electronic and the Internet.”

“There will be a slow drift towards e-transactions due to mistrust of the security offered by digital transactions.”

“Having spent time in Hong Kong, where people use a card for transit on all the different lines there, and can purchase groceries with the card (called an ‘octopus card’) it seems likely that we will be paying for things with chips in our cell phones in the future.”

“I’m biased but believe mobile devices and other hardware will replace paper transactions.”

“I think it’ll take longer than nine years but will change direction over time.”

“Financial institutions and businesses will need to accommodate the whole range of ‘money.’ Cash and credit cards will not go away, but more people will adapt to smart-device swiping with vendors they trust.”

“Unless unforeseeable technologies come into place, security issues shall linger and oblige certain process issues.”

“There are too many security concerns about RFID chips. Some digital payment will certainly occur (as it is now—RFID-embedded credit cards, barcodes on a smart phone screen to buy coffee, etc.), but it will not be extremely widespread. With new forms of payment come increased costs of doing business. People are very hesitant to give the banks any more money than they are already giving them.”

“I do not believe that most people will have adopted this service, but it will certainly be well on its way. Trust will be an issue, but security challenges must be overcome for wide-spread adoption to occur, and I believe companies such as Google will be able to solve that issue.”

“People will want to protect some, if not many, of their transactions from observation/tracking, and that will slow down complete adoption. And reports of identify theft or system breakdowns/malwire/warfare could make people think twice about the security of using these systems.”

“It’s already happening—the switch from credit to smart-device is less dramatic than the departure from cash that has already occurred.”

“The third world is way ahead of advanced countries. Fewer and fewer people carry cash (myself among them) and as we become more trusting of the security tied to our mobile devices and life in the cloud, not having to carry a wallet/pocketbook around will appeal to more people than those who want to continue to have to carry a purse, a wallet stuffed with credit cards and cash.”

“More use = more hackers = more distrust.”

“I have serious doubts and trust issues about exclusive all-digital applications going forward. I think we will have to look at new, more secure ways to protect individuals’ financial security. I don’t see an end to the use of debit/credit cards and cash.”

“God forbid these communications devices should be hacked into or stolen.”

“As much as I’d like to see a money-free world, I’m afraid the opportunities for the hackers and pirates are too great. I’m happy to buy my $2 Starbucks using my Android but I don’t know that we will ever feel secure enough to make much larger purchases that way.”

“I chose the most likely answer, but credit cards will still feature prominently.”

“Cash survived checks and credit cards and I think it will also survive NFC payments. It’s also unlikely that credit cards, per se, will disappear any time soon if for no other reason than many NFC payments will still be made using these very accounts. What is, perhaps, more likely, is that NFC will begin to displace credit card swipes among younger individuals for those sales made in person.”

“This will only happen if security can keep up.”

“I will still be a Luddite, but I can see why many people would like the convenience of not needing to have cash or a credit card. The issue, though, is if your smart-device gets stolen.”

“Scams ala Nigerian 411s abound. They’re more sophisticated and able to infiltrate networks. People will demand more from their local communities and local governance to create an umbrella identity, building local economic and social blocs that protect their constituents.”

“Consumers are tired of fees and as such they are beginning to take their finances into their own hands. Eliminating the use of credit cards and debit cards will enable the consumer to be more in control of what they spend and how they spend it. Smart-device swiping is just another way consumers can keep those fees in their pocket instead of paying for the privilege to use a bank card. Likewise, as more people begin to learn about this new technology they will realize how much closer they can monitor their spending and keep tabs on their credit and identity.”

“This can speed up financial transactions and will be easier on our environment.”

“Yes, the US dollar will no longer be the go to currency and everything will go to the Chinese yuan. There will always be cash for the underground economy. You have hackers out there that give people no faith in the system. However, we are already slowly migrating to that technology.”

“Again somewhere in the middle, moving toward the second scenario. Security will always be an issue of concern. That will never be solved in full.”

“Too many of the already dominant currency transfer players and too much money has already been invested in this. I would be surprised if it didn’t happen sooner.”

“Boy, you’re either on one side of the fence with these options or you’re on the other. Personally, I have to move ahead with the times. I will admit I was not the very first person to embrace the debit card concept and online banking. My daughter was much quicker to do so than I was, but I was not that late adopting it, and I would not want to retreat to the older ways of doing business. It’s been years since I moved to this method of managing my purchases. It seems other people I know also prefer this way. I can’t see us turning back.”

“Given the current and very real economic status of so much of our population, I do not believe the availability of sufficient cash or credit-capacity will enable such a choice for the majority of American families.”

“Why pay taxes when you can have anonymous electronic, non-traceable cash accounts with online currency?

“Bank of America just introduced a $5 monthly fee for simply using a debit card, an example of a barrier. Banking practices will hinder the use of technology, people are wary of privacy concerns, and there is still an underground economy that uses cash.”

“In Australia we are already there. Electronic file transfer at point of sale is ‘normal,’ cash and cheques are the anomaly. Security is a technical issue which continuously improves.”

“Second paragraph—corporations, not individuals, will stand in the way of innovation, as they do not want to invest in the necessary resources or infrastructure to have truly secure transactions.”

“I think this will happen, but will be slower to happen in the United States. Just as Europe adopted SMS early, they will convert to NFC quickly too.”

“It will beyond smart-device swiping by then. We will have moved to far more sophisticated forms of payment, beyond cash and credit cards and even smart-device swiping.”

“This is one area that I think will make a quick switch.”

“By 2020 cash will be used in far fewer instances, but based on my knowledge of how the government works it would be at least another twenty years after the fact before they would attempt to eliminate it. When it comes to currency it also matters what other nations are doing to take payments. If a technologically advanced nation were to phase out cash and credit cards but they traveled abroad how would they be secure financially? The security aspect is also important as older generations are clearly uncomfortable with adopting certain aspects of the Web, so credit cards will likely remain in use. There will likely be an increase in near-field communication device payment systems, but due to security and potential global adoption a 2020 expectation date seems improbable.”

“People will swipe, but people will still worry about the safety/privacy of their financial transactions. They will swipe because banks and financial institutions will actively market and promote the use of technology and not because people want it.”

“I believe that technological gains will advance more quickly in the marketplace than in the classroom. Especially with the recent news that banks will be charging for debit card use, I think people will be using smart-devices more and more.”

“Customers are, in general, too uninformed about the potential security risks. If you look at Facebook, you see how gullible and trusting we tend to be. By 2020, providing your most intimate and personal details will be so commonplace that people won’t even realise that things were different before or that they have options in terms of disclosure or methods for payments (and enterprises have the power to force people to use the tools they want them to use). So I think the first scenario is more likely, but not for the reasons you state.”

“In truth, I believe the answer to this question is somewhere in between these two answers. The high level of household debt, coupled with the convenience of mobile payments create a mindset that is receptive to this change.”

“This is an interesting question; from where I live, this is starting to show in Singapore. We use cards and tap against a machine on our public transport buses and such cards are called EZ-link cards. And there were talk about enhancing further uses of the cards such as making payment for purchases in grocery stores, restaurants and whatnot. So I wouldn’t be surprised if the trend, be it in Singapore and worldwide, will take off, especially in developed countries. The second option, which I did not choose, has its validity as well, but generally I think people on the whole are all right with companies trying to learn more about their personal purchasing habits. Because the decision to consume a particular good lies with the consumer him or herself; if the consumer refuses to purchase said good that a company has been aggressively marketing, then there’s nothing the company can do. It’s all about self-control.”

“The progress will be slow. The United States still does not have a $1 coin.”

“Well, most upper-income people will but those without education who are washing our dishes, harvesting our crops (and planting them also), caring for the elderly stand in food lines to supplement their inadequate compensation for necessary hands on physical needs of human beings. There will be an more prevalent underground economy based on money and services and then the upper 5-10% will be the ‘knowledge workers and financial geniuses running the world’; serfs and masters.”

“Not only cash and credit cards but also coupons and fidelity cards. Payment is part of the imagination of marketers and they do not tend to make it simple Diversification is the rule. The electronic wallet has been tested in France and failed to dislodge credit cards because actors (banks and shops) made it more expensive than normal cards. My advice is that many systems will cohabitate. People have just multiplied their payment tools.”

“Money’s already shifted from paper to plastic and that trend will only continue. Just as we’re all becoming more accepting of using personal details, including bank, online, and over the phone.”

“A segment of the population will be comfortable with scenario one, but there is a huge segment—small-business, lower middle class, middle class of people—who may not be able to afford the technology and will always want to use cash. Concern about privacy is only one issue. Lack of trust in banks, big companies, etc. will probably keep a wide group of consumers (including me) to use smart phones, but not exclusively for financial management.”

“It will be a blend of the two responses because the change described will take longer than eight in a half years. That said, I think credit cards have paved the way for adoption of NFC payment adoption. The concept of transactions made by tapping or swiping a device rather than a card should be easy for those who so easily give a number, expiration date, and security code online, in person or over the phone. This would occur over time, but not by 2020.”

“I actually think swiping will quickly become outdated. Maybe iris measurements.”

“2020 is too soon.”

“I’m certain it will head in this direction, but I’m not a fan. I would like to think we would keep using credit cards, but I’m not naive.”

“Maybe it is because I hardly ever use bills and coins, and all my bills are paid electronically since it saves time and work, that I can see this coming. All systems are improving and the security issues will be resolved, and/or things like some form of biological recognition (the eye) will be in place.”

“Not only in advanced countries, but also in the others one, maybe in different degrees. Is so easy to do monetary transactions. Of course it depends on the development of security guaranties for the users.”

“Cash and credit cards transactions will not be as prevalent in 2020, but the suggested adoption rate of smart-device swiping won’t be that quick. Today’s teens and young adults will be the biggest consumer pool in 2020 and their adoption of smart-device swiping will be great, especially as they are apt to adopt applications readily.”

“If you change the time horizon to 2030 or 2040, perhaps it might be true. Change comes slowly. I am not sure that the ‘convenience’ of using your phone is actually more convenient than using a debit/credit card. I never forget my wallet—it is always in my pocket. The debit card is small and easy to carry. My phone might be on my dresser charging. Purchasing habits: I do not believe 95% of people care that Safeway knows that they prefer Grape Nuts to Frosted Flakes. The Amazon selections for what I am interested in are often completely off the mark. I lose my power adapter, order a new one, and somehow it thinks I am going to want to buy another one—how stupid is that?”

“It will happen, but not by 2020. The current economy will keep this from moving forward.”

“This is obvious. Even my mother, who is almost 70, pays for practically everything by debit card or automatic withdrawal. It’s only a matter of time before she’s dead or starting to use her mobile device for transactions.”

“Again in European countries the banking sector is typically conservative. Even the use of credit cards is still not widespread in many.”

“It’s already happening.”


“This trend has already been in place for several years. In Europe, smart cards play almost as big a role as debit cards do in the United States. One caveat: The banking institutions will need to be more nimble in adopting technology. They also have the potential to stall the transition or slow it significantly, by increasing fees and imposing restrictions.”

“I see this ‘e-money’ option happening already, and don’t think it could be stopped at this point. We may not have total societal conversion to e-money, but we’ll be closer to that outcome than not.”

“I doubt this will take until 2020. I’d say it will happen sooner. I think improvement in web-based privacy will need to be implemented for this to happen, but I think that will occur. In my daily life now, I seldom use cash, except maybe to buy coffee. Most of my purchases are by debit or credit card, and many occur online. I would love not to carry around a wallet full of cards and just have a virtual identity to use.  A plus of all this is new jobs will open up as people need to prepare and create the software to make this possible and to police it. Virtual cops anyone?

“This is another scenario where the outcome will most likely be a mix between the two and divided on socio-economic lines. The way the economy is going now, I don’t see the rural Midwest embracing smart phone transactions anytime soon. It could be common to see smart-device swiping in New York City in 2020, but I think it will most likely be an urban, middle to upper-class phenomenon.”

“The first argument may be accurate for the net-generation youth of today, but by 2020 the older folks and retired boomers who actually have most of the money in society will be slow to adapt to electronic money schemes.”

“We will move further in this direction unless our governments and corporations keep moving lockstep towards fascism. If there is a general state of trust, we will accept electronic money. If there is increasing resistance and concern, we will not adopt electronic money as a population.”

“There are still many people who will not use credit cards much less buy over the Net. I think the options will still be the same—money for certain things, cards for other things. Smart-device swiping for people who love those devices.”

“Paper money will ultimately be phased out and digital currency will eventually become the norm. This doesn’t necessarily mean that this change is totally good. There are just as many ways to ‘steal’ from people as there are ways to exchange funds. While many 21st century citizens will not trust digital transactions, for good reason, they will be ‘forced’ to adopt the practice, albeit grudgingly.”

“In some ways I see that people will also have credit with companies, rather than national currency. It will not matter whether people trust these devices or not, companies and corporations will have the means to force people to use these means of purchasing their products and services, or they will not be able to purchase them at all. Supermarkets only need to adopt their in-store credit card, which must be used if customers wish to purchase at their stores, and then if people need to shop there for whatever reason, they will need to apply for such a card. Or, as suggested, they will need an app or something in their mobile devices, which automatically knows when the customer is in the store and debits their credit without needing to pass by a human being. What a great future we have—I wonder what sort or work the former check-out cashiers will get? I wonder where they will be able to obtain their food if they cannot afford a mobile device and decent credit rating in order to get the relevant apps? Possibly an alarm would ring if a person without a suitable in-store credit rating on their satellite-linked mobile device tried to enter the store.”

“People, particularly the Baby Boomers and Gen Xers, will still want a feeling of control over purchases. They will use desktops, smart phones, and whatever replaces them for the sake of convenience.”

“Today’s world already shows how fast anything can be come a part of everyday society.”

“When it comes to their money people tend to be very conservative.”

“It seems we are already moving in that direction.”

“Cash will be long gone. Credit cards are likely to survive in some form, but they’ll be ‘smart’ cards than keep track for your balances, as well.”

“Too many trust and security issues.”

“I don’t believe cash and credit cards will have been eliminated within the next eight years, but I think we are heading that direction. People in my parents’ generation will not be likely to adopt the smart-device options for purchases, not even necessarily for any purpose! But, most other generations will have developed acceptance for, and adoption of, this technology. Security issues will probably always be a concern—they always have been, where money transactions are concerned!

“Seeing as people are barely past (and sometimes not past) trusting in physical resources like gold, I find this unlikely for ‘most’ people in the near future. People may increasingly rely on hardware and software for financial transactions out of necessity, but I find it more unlikely that most people will trust in these transactions. Even if most people are using these systems for some transactions there will likely still be strong reliance on traditional money for specific types of transactions. Additionally, this practice would increase the risk of cyberterrorism, as if the Internet were to have issues our entire economy and fiscal systems would be in serious trouble.”

“The level of exposure to security risks is already in place. The younger generation is motivated by ease and simplicity and will be driven to embrace technology that supports this thinking.”

“I am of two minds on this subject, which boils down to privacy. As an adult in 2011, I think my privacy is disappearing and that it is not a good thing. This is happening on many levels, not the least of which is large corporations, which share information with each other and with the government. But I also see my college kids not caring about what they post, or whom they tell what to, or what electronic gizmos tell others about them. I am worried about us as a society and about a Brave New World.”

“This is likely to happen, and with it will come an end to privacy and the development of personalized advertising so that consumers will be closely tracked, analyzed, and marketed to.”

“Boomers are an increasing demographic so I doubt there will be a major conversion.”

“It won’t happen this quickly less because of security fears but more because of the cost of mass adoption of these technologies. It needs to reach a tipping point where most vendors run this way, and I just think it will be cost prohibitive for a while. Given the sluggish economy and the fact that this doesn’t seem to have a huge, immediate benefit for anyone, I don’t see it happening for another twenty to thirty years.”

“But, imposed by the financial crisis.”

“It might take a bit more than ten years to happen, but it will happen soon enough. One of the ramifications of having almost all payments done through one device and ‘network’ is the relative ease of tracking one’s entire ‘economic’ life. This includes parents tracking their children, spouses their other, the police tracking suspected criminals, and for the venturesome citizens who allow it—marketers tracking the consumer (for the benefit of the latter as well).”

“I think that the first outcome is very likely. However, I again feel that 2020 is too near to expect to see the disappearance of money transactions. There are too many stakeholders involved (banks, businesses, customers, technology, cross-national compatibility, etc.) to see a change happen so rapidly. Having said that, I think that it is very possible that cash or credit card transactions be eliminated in developing or emerging economies first before it happens in the developed countries. Innovation in this sector will come from poorer countries, as transactions will be done more via mobile phone.”

“This depends on how banks and financial institutes respond. If they charge continuing higher and higher fees for the use of individual’s funds, money as we know it will still be here. Currently, with the advent of fees for the use of debit cards, it will be interesting to see if people are willing to trade convenience for money. Some will. I think more will not.”

“People are lazy and will do whatever is easier.”

“Scenario A will be complete well before 2020.”

“I see a significant increase in the use of technology for purchasing. The pervasiveness of the cell phone provides an easy alternative to cash and one that I believe will continue to be leveraged. The biggest barrier to this adoption that I see is the fees charged by transaction processors. It was only recently announced that a major US bank is planning to charge customers a monthly $5 fee for using debit cards for transactions. This is already beginning a backlash and promised boycotts of that traditional technology. The barrier to adoption here will not be privacy, but surcharge.”

“Cash will probably be eliminated due to its inconvenience, but people will be using mostly credit cards. Until now, I had never even heard of payment through the use of mobile devices, so I doubt that it will gain much traction in 2020. The positive of this is that it is most secure. The negative is that it is less convenient; people are more likely to lose credit cards than cell phones.”

“So long as the security concerns are addressed (either through education/awareness or a type of insurance to protect against fraud and theft), younger consumers will embrace the new payment methods. Just as so many Americans now pay at least a portion of their monthly bills online, new forms of payment that are cash-less and free from credit cards are on the horizon. The keys to adequate adoption rates are security and ease of use (widespread at a variety of merchants).”

“Not only will be monetary system be balanced on a global scale, the use of what we now so bravely term ‘real money’ will disappear in favor of electronic alternatives.”

“Many transactions, but not all. There will remain a flourishing semi-underground economy. One of the interesting implications of swipe-based transacting is the question of what currency will be used for it. It becomes much easier to handle currency conversions, or insist that all one’s transactions take place (from one’s own side) in a single currency or in whatever currency is at the moment the most advantageous for the transaction. And then the problem starts getting interesting— designing the software that will search among currencies and find the optimum for both parties in real-time is not necessarily easy!

“Again, the market penetration of these devices is an assumed a priori. Given the digital divide, cash, and credit will remain simply because a wide swath of people do not yet own the technology, have access to the credit system, or engage with the banking system in a way that allows for full-scale penetration.”

“We’re already three-quarters of the way there, unless the banks start charging us fees for it.”

“This depends on the price of data plans for smart phones continuing to fall, but this seems likely.”

“The truth lies somewhere in between. The question will be whether or not near-field communication devices are sufficiently secure. This seems doubtful at the moment given the limitations of RFID to resist cloning, but it may be that a new technology will come along.”

“The other scenario from the one I’ve selected will take place by 2030-2040, though the speed of change could bring this by 2020, especially if those in charge (and it’s not the people as I write this), claim the need to do so with even more ‘security’ measures and the access to our money even more securely than the cash in the banks in the 1930s.”

“Though I believe the future of money will still include cash I believe scenario two is more likely in some respects because for all the concern about security, the reality is that even today people don’t understand the context that underlies those concerns. Thus, such concerns will be viewed as mostly urban myth rather than real concerns. Yet, there is a fundamental distrust of all things digital when it comes to interpersonal transactions so cash money will still have a place in our transactions and we will see an increase in small-scale barter occurring between individuals and small groups as much because of its convenience as for concerns about security of monetary transactions.”

“Not so sure we are all ready for this.”

“I chose that this will not happen but only because I think it will take a bit longer then 2020 for people to ‘embrace and fully adopt’ this method. My generation (I’m 29) will need to be a bit older. I do however think that future generations will ease into this as the ‘norm’ and it will happen eventually. Obviously, security is the number-one problem.”

“It’s more convenient, therefore, it is good.”

“So many people are already making payments online, and that number continues to grow.”

“People are more aware of fraud, scams and identity theft but are still wary of an all- digital platform for buying and transactions. Online bill pay is an exception.”

“It seems that the more people use the Internet and technology, the more we see how it has shortcomings. Look at the recent hacking of the PS3 network. I think people will continue to be conservative in their approach to technologically conceived currency. I know iPhones have cheap credit card swipers, but in their first inception, they transmitted data unencrypted. I think these kinds of concerns will continue for years to come.”

“It’s all about trust. So long as the technology works and is delivered by a highly trusted brand with great customer care I don’t see a problem. Will there still be notes and coins? I’m sure there will, just not as much!

“The rapid growth of IT since 1996 when Yahoo and Altavista were created, lends itself to unpredictability. However, certain aspects of technological adoption vary according to cultural influences. As an American who has lived in Europe for eight years you can see that technology is just as prevalent to society, however, the adoption of credit/debit card transactions is limited in certain ‘developed’ countries. Germany and Italy are heavily cash dependent still, whilst the United Kingdom is very ‘Americanised’ and you can use your card to purchase water, if you wanted to. This comes down to historical factors and views of debt and its (tenuous) link with technology. Post-World War II, certain cultural views toward saving money and paying in cash have been ingrained and no amount of technological change will be able to alter that.”

“Especially the recent spate of hackings has scared more people, especially older people, off from using smart devices and the Internet to make payments. For under-35s the adoption rates will be much higher.”

“Technology has a ways to go to ensure the safety of such transactions.”

“Unfortunately. There will be cash options for those who don’t trust the device.”

“I know my level of trust is diminishing with time. I imagine others feel the same, though I can’t confirm it. I would not go all-digital, all the time with my finances considering the amount of hacking into banks and other financial sites that has been occurring.”

“At least in America, many will still want to use cash and credit/debit cards. Those who wish to disrupt online commercial activities (hackers) seem to be up to any challenge corporations put in their way. They will continue to hamper these activities for the foreseeable future.”

“I also think as part of this is that we will have a global denomination.”

“This will definitely be the case. Probably older generations might have some kind of discomfort or distrust in the first place, but they will evolve to accept this means as e-banking services have grown.”

“Because the younger generation has grown up with smart-device technology, they do not have the same fears as more mature generations. I personally hope I am wrong on this one. I don’t trust the smart-device technology and I have strong privacy concerns about it. I also fear RFID embedded into human bodies as a result.”

“Smart technology will creep into our lives. In some cases we’ll be using it and not realize how much it’s imbedded into daily tasks and transactions. Yes, security will be an issue, but convenience, and likely higher fees for doing things the old way will drive out objections.”

“Legitimate transactions will have moved to electronic devices. There will still be some form of trade (barter, ‘credits’ of some sort, or another asset) to support non-legal transactions.”

“2020 is too soon for this sort of shift. Most of the people I work with (at a large hospital) do not have a smart phone yet. My husband works for the post office, and people still come in for money orders. There are segments of the population that do not use banks. I do think we will see more cards, debit cards, cards that carry points for social services, etc. I guess what I am talking about here is poverty and how poor people handle their money. In the public library, I’ve helped people that needed to download their W-2’s through an Internet based service, and they needed a lot of hand-holding. And, many of these systems are too damn complicated. Do you remember the dollar figure of your last paycheck of the year? If you are salaried, and happen to know, to the penny, how much your check is, great! If you remembered to bring your last paycheck to the public library (because you don’t have a computer/Internet connection at home), well, then super. You are prepared. Right now, there are too many passwords, too many authentication hoops. Let’s face it—in many ways, getting a check in the mail, cashing it at a bank, and paying for your gallon of milk with cash is way easier.”

“Just as online banking, direct deposits, and bill-pay have made visiting the bank obsolete, I think mobile payments will also cause the demise of credit cards. I do however think that 2020 is an aggressive timeline for such a change. People are always fearful of new things, and the question of security is always raised with the next new technology, so consumers will need time to prove near filed communications are safe and secure.”

“I hope in eight years from now I can’t still pay cash without leaving my personal data in a shop or a credit card corporation.”

“I think the answer is probably somewhere in-between, but mostly I concur with the first statement. Older generations will probably still balk at the digital wallet concept initially, but they will eventually adapt. I think it is a terrific idea.”

“Just as people have replaced cash with credit cards and have trusted technology with their online shopping experiences, I feel that this transition is among the easier ones to take place.”

“Isn’t this happening now?”

“Already seeing this with Starbucks coffee purchases, airline check in, and vending machine purchases in Europe. You can deposit a check today by taking a picture of it.”

“Convenience has trumped security concerns to date (witness the widespread use of credit cards and Internet payment). The greater trust of digital methods will only increase over time.”

“This will come down an issue of trust between the consumer and the banking industry. Privacy concerns will abound. There will be early adopters, similar to online shopping. This also will depend on the banking industries cost to perform transactions. Recent monthly charges announced by banks like Bank of America for use of debit cards will drive users to other vendors, cash, or potential via electronic method, which at that point could begin the transition.”

“Cash and credit cards are more accessible to more people on a broader scale. While I would hope that security and privacy issues for smart phones will be resolved by 2020, I’m not certain that their mass adoption will equate to their use as the primary means of payment.”

“It’s just going to be too hard to resist using swipes and other devices. Merchants, the economy, and consumers will benefit. Not using credit cards will be one way that consumers can feel empowered in terms of ‘sticking it to’ the banks that are sinking our economy. But I have the luxury of saying that. If your cash flow is limited or non-existent, and you get sucked into a high interest credit and accumulate debt that you cannot pay off, then swiping devices that take money right out of your extremely healthy checking account is probably not an option for you. So perhaps this will widen the gap between the haves and the have-nots. I myself quickly got on board with my supermarket’s ScanIt system, where you scan and bag everything as you go with a handheld device, doing the work as you go along, instead of loading all the work at the tail end of the shopping trip. I will never go back. On a few occasions, I’ve arrived at the supermarket and there are no fully charged devices, and I cannot shop the old-fashioned way.”

“Cash will eventually become much less important. However, I think this is unlikely by 2020 and much more likely by 2030. The reason is that there are still major security concerns (i.e., the ability to hack RFID devices) that need to be addressed. I suspect that smart phones will, however, gain a good deal of traction by 2020.”

“People would probably like to adopt mobile technologies (NFC-enabled) that would simplify their life to allow for mobile payments/banking. Depending on the country, we might not be there yet. With security attacks to major corporations, there may still be latent distrust in terms of security. But it’s probably not that far into the future where this fear will dissipate and there will be a more overall comfort in terms of using it. Customers would probably really like to get rid of their collection of plastic and cash and move towards a digital wallet but it will probably be four to five years before it is completely mainstream.”

“In countries where payment by cell phone is already implemented, it has already become the most convenient means. In parts of Africa where banks (and landlines) are few, cell phone adoption has been very rapid and micropayments by cell phones are seen as a real boon. Though this technology hasn’t yet become well established in North America, many people use online banking, pay for purchases over the Internet or telephone with credit cards, and/or use services like PayPal without worrying that these things aren’t especially secure. In fact, if implementation of payment-by-cell phone is to become the norm, all it will take is extending cell phone use to the 17% of Americans who still don’t have them and assuring everyone that paying this way is no riskier than carrying the cash or using the credit card. If the scheme were also to accommodate efficient micropayments, a good many people would adopt the technology before it was out of beta-testing.”

“Actually, it will be somewhere in between the all or nothing scenario because there will still be a significant number of people who do not trust smart-device swiping and they will need to be accommodated.”

“The average person has no idea how valuable data mining regarding their spending habits really is. They are going to give it away for free. I may not, I don’t know. It depends with how convenient and ubiquitous it ends up being.”

“This really seems to be happening now. There is something out there daily (example: using a swipe device on an iPod, cell phone, or on an iTouch to make transactions at a local crafts fair). This is so much more feasible for small businesses and makes it easier to consumers to purchase. If you don’t embrace the technology, you may be left in the dust.”

“There will be two distinct populations: those who embrace the technology, and those who don’t (i.e. both answers are ‘correct’). If people are forced to go with an ‘Option One’ future, there will be a large number of distrustful, alienated people who will resent the technology forced on them or the added expense that maintaining a cash/card minority solution will cost them.”

“In Canada, smart-swiping and debit is already widespread and consumers are understanding that the security risk is not for them, it’s for the financial institutions backstopping all this. So for consumers, what’s not to love?”

“I selected option one, though I suspect it will yield a parallel set of economies outside of digital money.”

“There will be a significant move in the direction of the first scenario. Smartphone use is on the upswing. People like convenience and have gotten use to electronic means of transferring money. Unless there is some major security breach with devastating results or the cost of smart-devise swiping is prohibitive—I think that most people will continue to embrace these changes.”

“The consumer cannot drive the move to NFC payments. The cost to build the infrastructure to support NFC is too large. Additionally, the security issues related to passing data using NFC outweigh the benefit of adopting this new technology. If NFC was able to be used by 85% of the population, and could displace a more costly form of payment it may have a chance to succeed, but the reality is that cash will always be in the economy, and bank-issued cards (debit and credit) provide too much profit for them to be displaced.”

“With the focus today on cloud computing even within the Department of Defense, many of the security issues will be addressed by 2020, and so electronic payments using mobile devices will be more pervasive and trusted.”

“People will pay per mobile phone and similar devices.”

“As long as the micro-transactions are secure, the convenience of electronic purchasing will draw in nearly everyone. As a side effect of this, the government may be able to tax all transactions instead of losing taxes on cash transactions between individuals. As a result of this, bartering may increase.”

“I see too many issues with privacy/anonymity for cash and credit cards to disappear. Also, the digital divide is still too large for the rural population to be able to adopt such devices.”

“Cash is unlikely to disappear completely, but contactless credit cards are already on the rise, and this is likely to continue.”

“Younger generations are less skeptical and tend to trust and rely on credit card companies, banks, and technology more so than older generations. We are already seeing a transition away from typical spending. One factor that is unpredictable is how profit-hungry banks and credit companies will influence this to work in their favor.”

“There are still too many security concerns when it comes to internet finances. The threat of cyber terrorism is very real and it looks to only get more sophisticated. Those reasons lead me to believe that we will not fully adopt this until later.”

“Much uncertainty here. This assumes the survival of the international commercial order. Still I would not bet against it.”

“This is a tough one to answer. We are moving this way, but the problem here is not the technology for doing these tasks, rather it’s the security issues around them, but then this is true for credit cards today.”

“As we see a generational shift by 2020, we will see this model emerge. Those like myself, a Baby Boomer, will not necessarily embrace this change. My impression is that already many typical college-aged students pay almost entirely by debit card and very seldom use cash.”

“Systems don’t change fast enough for people to be almost done with cash by 2020. The electronic systems will be vastly improved, but won’t replace money for another decade.”

“We’re going to have to wait beyond 2020 for digital transactions to become commonplace. The older generations—those who did not grow up with the Internet, mobile and digital technology—will continue to mistrust digital financial transactions. Even smart cards, so common in Europe, have found little traction in the United States, and this suggests a similar sluggish movement toward smart-device swiping. We will probably not see ‘most people’ using such methods until 2030.”

“Either this or our society is going to regress back to a cash-only society out of response to the banking crisis.”

“I expect greater confidence in using smart devices for monetary exchange but this assumes that such devices are readily available and willingly embraced by the working and middle classes. Unless smart-devices are more affordable and usage plans as well, I expect there to be continued use of credit cards and cash for exchange.”

“We will embrace the smart-device swiping for purchases and trust handling of monetary transactions over the internet and in stores. The positive is obviously the ease of use. The negative is twofold: 1) People will not budget money and create debt 2) The technology will not be able to protect people’s monetary transactions from theft. The shades of grey are the transitioning generations that don’t trust any form of change—technology or not. Therefore existing systems need to be maintained (such as the post office) along with the newer technologies for some years to come.”

“Unless there is a major security meltdown, the speed and convenience factor will overtake security concerns. Especially if banks and credit card providers impose additional fees as they seem to be doing with debit cards now.”

“I actually think the first paragraph is too extreme but that technology and smart-devices will push us further than stated in the second paragraph. The answer is somewhere in between.”

“Change is evolutionary by generational replacement. Pick the change now and multiply by three.”

“Definitely, smartphones are coming closer and closer to scenario one, and security, too.”

“Not by 2020, but I am sure this is coming.”

“99% of financial transactions will be trusted to the phone.”

“Our financial transactions are moving digital. I don’t believe we understand the risks or have seen the worst of what will happen as a result.”

“People are funny with money, so I see scenario two.”

“Smart devices will almost certainly replace the current credit/debit card infrastructure. Cash will continue to be used for a nontrivial minority of transactions.”

“I believe in the smart wallet. The point is I may not believe that most of the population will be able to adopt it. Today the percent of people in Latin America who do e-commerce is really small, regarding insecurity, or lack of access, or information. So I expect it will be divided into two worlds: the one with access and confidence to pay, and the one living with its own reality, like today.”

“Although the process will not take place as smoothly as described above, the more positive account reflects the situation in 2020 better. Although e-security and e-identity will continue to create problems, the benefits of digitalised personal finances will outgrow the threats and dangers. In many countries online banking is reality for most people even today, and while it has been a long learning process it is widely accepted today.”

“The very recent news about consumer charges for use of debit cards may be the beginning of a shift in the way consumers pay for goods. Unless, and until security of personal information is more reliable, and banks are not charging for every service, cash and/or credit cards may remain primary forms of payment.”

“What is ‘a lot of traction’ when it comes to payments through the use of mobile devices? And what are most advanced countries at now? Asian countries are much farther along in this area than the United States, but without having any data in hand I’m just guessing. There will always be a group of people who do not trust technology. There are people who do not trust banks to keep their money safe. Whether this segment of the population outpaces the trusting group, I can’t begin to guess. But given that we are only talking about nine years from now, I have to imagine the trusting group will not trump the distrusting group.”

“The minority populations feel more comfortable in a cash society. With non-whites moving to being the majority by 2025, the disappearance of cash and credit cards will not occur. Many persons leery of being declared illegal immigrants will not use the banking system for fear they may be deported, thus a cash society is the only way they will exist.”

“It’s all great until something really bad happens. And it is clear the hackers have always had the upper hand. Cyberterrorism is a real threat.”

“Some adoption. It is much more likely there will be a change by 2030—way too much infrastructure to change in ten years.”

“The habits of the 30-and-under group lead me to believe the first option will happen; however, not by 2020. There are too many people over 30 who are concerned about identity theft and personal privacy for smart-device use to replace cash and credit cards for at least 20 years—or until people are convinced sufficiently of its safety and their privacy retention.”

“2020 is too soon, but it is coming.”

“In advanced countries the recognition of the paper dollar as a promissory note for the gold standard has already been forgotten. (Certainly in the United States, since 1971 this is true.) Money as a system of economic checks and balances is replaced with the notion of money as an expression of the knowledge value of any given commodity. Currency for the average American is almost considered more like a point-system, as in, if you have X amount of points, you can invest in Y product potentially worth Z amount of points. Products in advanced countries, especially technology products such as mobile phones and handheld devices, are given a worth not based on manufacturing costs, but rather based on what the producers think that people might be willing to pay. As of now, a smart phone that costs $2 to snap together in Malaysia, China, and New Jersey suddenly costs $60 retail, and the accompanying data plan costs another $60 per month. Unfortunately, consumers who pay extra fees to bank online, which certainly the banks will charge as they realize that the costs of cybersecurity are much higher when dollars are points and not promissory notes, will also be paying fees to access the Internet services that enable them to view their accounts. I think people will use personal hardware and software devices to manage transactions, but they will not trust those devices or the banking systems. The opportunities for poor financial decision-making will be incredible. I think that, locally, people will invest in small community banking systems, such as credit bureaus and small group financial insurance plans, in an effort to address their fears of a global economic collapse, as well as fears of technical devices and interfaces simply not working. In poor countries, people will continue to use promissory notes and cards that function as promissory notes—something like limited amount debit cards, but even these will gain and lose in value in increasing fluctuating amounts as the wealthy continue to make financial decisions based on gaming the worldwide economic point system.”

“This is already happening.”

“Although I chose option one—I don’t believe it will be accurate to say people will embrace the technology, because in many cases it will be mandated. For example, as government agencies like the IRS, Social Security, etc. move away from traditional payment forms to new technologies, individuals will be forced to adapt in order to access tax refunds, social security benefits, etc.”

“The security fears of using smart devices for payment mirror the early fear of making purchases over the Internet. Ultimately, the ease of making purchases will win over the public—just as they have been won over to the idea of constantly carrying their cell phones.”

“In the developing world, mobile money is gaining tremendous traction. The transition to credit cards, ATM cards, online banking, etc. has been fairly seamless. I do believe smart device purchases will be adopted just as easily.”

“I hesitate to say ‘most.’ My reality is such that I will likely embrace smart-device swiping, but I sit squarely in the early adopter, high-tech crowd and live in a technologically advanced city (Seattle). My experience with middle America suggests that the rest of the country is not as comfortable with new methods.”

“If it is universally available, people will adopt the technology. A classic case was the New York Subway installing the MetroCard. Until it was available at stations that people frequented everyday, few used it. As the technology rolled out and it was priced to ‘sell’ there were high levels of adoption.”

“This is inevitable. Just as ATM and credit cards were adopted quickly, so will smart-device purchase transactions.”

“The internet leaves behind the poor (more and more of us). Cash will still exist.”

“If they can figure out how to make them secure and if it works this is inevitable. It will be more efficient—saving time and hopefully saving us from losing money throughout our days. I wonder if it will have an impact on the passing of disease through money.”

“Somehow the security issues will be resolved. People will love carrying a smart-device for messaging, purchasing, taking photographs, etc.”

“One global currency.”

“While I think that the ‘positive’ option is overly optimistic (it takes more than ten years for mass behavior to change) I think that ‘digital wallets’ will gain mass acceptance, broadening from the current niche applications (EZPass, gas station key fobs, CC pilots) to more general usage. And the ‘negatives’ around security implications and loss of privacy aren’t the kinds of things that consumers care about; people care more about convenience. Of course, if people’s identities or money are stolen, or they start getting flooded by direct mail, they’ll object to that, but people only respond to concrete issues such as that, not general issues such as privacy or security. As evidence, look at the current credit card networks, which are widely used despite weak security and no privacy protections. The main reason that people use cash is that it’s easiest for small purchases, or with small merchants (or direct consumer exchanges).”

“Privacy and security are major factors in our lives, and while becoming more open as a society is desirable, digitizing money is completely unfavorable due to economic reasons. Digital money is much harder to police, for start, and would make it next to impossible to maintain accountability within corporate firms. The current Occupy Wall Street movements are a clear indicator that society is absolutely against this idea. Gold standards, and commodity based economies are feasible because they are directly attributed to physical limitations, whereas, money which is not based on physical limitation of the tangible world, is doomed to sap the Earth’s natural resources at an exponential growth rate. The Earth cannot, and will not support an exponential consumption rate, and the necessity to connect GDP and inflation (both monetary and price) should be and for all realities purposes a priority. If a sustainable system can be constructed that takes all of these things into account, then perhaps I will agree.”

“People are coming to trust security software. If not by 2020, the next decade after will find most people using smart-devices instead of cash or credit.”

“This will be one of the areas where the digital divide manifests. Some groups (most likely those who are better educated, more affluent, and likely younger) will be more familiar with and more willing to use smart-devices to pay for purchases and replenish their accounts as necessary. Others will not trust the technology—this is evident through online banking and ecommerce. While it appears that ‘everyone’ uses the technology, it is still more of a one-way issue (ie: I’ll pay bills online although I still want a paper bill, etc.).”

“New security techniques, legislation and industry standard, plus the convenience will make it more widely accepted.”

“Like media, new forms do not ‘eliminate’ old forms, but they may overshadow them. Metal coins still exist; paper money still exists; paper checks still exist; credit cards still exist; debit cards still exist. All existing forms will play some role, with new forms (with privacy and security concerns) playing their biggest role in transactions that are a) small (coffee, parking spaces, magazines) and b) not seen as all that revealing. Transactions that are large (house purchase, car purchase, appliance purchase) or deemed sensitive (medical, disfavored—tobacco, alcohol, sexual materials) will rely more on more well-known forms.”

“There will be socialistic approach where the cost would play well and government would come up with a mechanism to track all based on their net presence.”

“Crypto-currencies. Local currencies. Decentralization. Lowered costs.”

“In nine years, there is likely to be two distinct groups (as today)—those connected and those not connected.”

“The rich will get richer, and the poor will get poorer. There will be a separate standard for the rich and the poor.”

“Within the next five years, there will be a major technology failure that will result in tremendous liabilities and business failures. Trust will be damaged, and people’s trust about the protection of their money and other resources is not something that can easily be earned back. The risk-takers and early adopters are the first in, and will be the first back. But I think this will be a major barrier to adoption by 2010.”

“The answer is likely to be a combination of the two options—possibly leaning more towards the former given the rapid pace of technology and increasing reliance on the Internet to complete many purchases and business transactions; security of online transactions will keep pace and confidence will grow.”

“Swipe cards will rule which will allow speedy transactions that are trusted by consumers.”

“There will always be a place for cash; a significant part of the population will continue to distrust financial communications systems. As long as there are news reports of privacy breaches and theft, some people will rely in part or in whole on cash and/or traditional banking. This kind of change takes generations to take hold.”

“I personally don’t really trust smart-device swiping, but I can tell from people’s developing reliance on devices that it’s only a matter of time before massive amounts of people begin doing it. Barring a complete collapse of the digitally-based global economy (in which case I think we’d go back to regionally-developed cash) most people will not think much of their ability to use their personal electronic device to look up a restaurant, make a reservation, and pay for dinner afterwards, etc. Europe, I know, is already partially there.”

“I feel as though 2020 may be too soon to declare a lack of use of currency. However, I feel as though many people will not be using cash for exchange. So much of our lives are already too technological, that saying this point will come is truthful.”

“This one is tricky, people have been talking about the end of cash for a long time and it still hasn’t happened and I suspect it won’t disappear entirely ever. We are being forced more and more into using ‘swipe’ cards, e.g. for transport, and online shopping, banking, etc., this is increasing, but security remains an issue, and personally I resent having to check to see if, for example, I’ve been charged the right amount for a train trip. It’s cost shifting and I have better things to do. I do like online shopping and banking, but I do resent the selling of data.”

“I think we’ve already seen that consumers go for the quick and easy fix and don’t necessarily recognize the dangers inherent in sharing their information or in possibly losing control of their identity. I think the former will not happen only if it ends up being more expensive for consumers. If there’s a (direct to consumer) cost each time their phone (or whatever) is swiped, while cash/credit is still free, then the former will be adopted more slowly.”

“People will do what’s convenient so long as the risks are small enough. I can’t imagine anyone is so attached to cash that they’ll want to hold and fondle it, other than Scrooge McDuck, perhaps.”

“It may take longer in a developed world, but this is already the norm in the developing world. Paying with your mobile will be so much more convenient and you could preload for set amounts and min risk of fraud.”

“Security, privacy, and choice are going to the most valued aspect of living in 2020. Even if online commercial transactions are made convenient, there will be a large fraction of the population who do not want to give out their information. The high level of sophistication that will be available in 2020 for cybersecurity and cloud computing will not change people’s personal fears about losing control over where their money and online profile/identity lives. There is already an anti-Google trend among young people who chose not to use Google G-mail or tools. It is also common that young people deliberately lie about the information they provide in order to gain access to online resources.”

“This already seems to be taking place!

“I expect this is future-accurate but slightly longer-term than 2020.”

“Many of us are already there.”

“My parents still don’t trust paying with credit cards online or over the phone.”

“People are particularly nervous about an all-digital transfer system in this economy. Beside, we haven’t even been able to eliminate the penny or the one dollar bill.”

“C’mon, are you aware of the Tea Party? Can you imagine the conspiracy theories? We’re talking about people who don’t even believe in ‘fiat money.’ This makes sense—and that’s why it won’t happen.”

“Whether people trust it or not, it’s the financial organizations and not the people who will decide. Look at the adoption of cards in the New York City transit system: When introduced, the vast majority of people did not want to use MetroCards. It was only when the Transit Authority gave a date for discontinuation of tokens did the masses have to move to cards. It will be the same with financial institutions.”

“Probably we will have device swiping and cash, and credit cards will go away. There will always be the need for some cash in the economy—not everybody wants his or her transactions and earnings to be fully traceable. But I think that the people comfortable with using credit cards will be comfortable using smart-devices for the same things.”

“This is one area where I think the technology will in fact be adopted quite rapidly. Personal banking is becoming more and more critical and the devices now make it every more feasible. Again the main issue is changes in the institutional systems (i.e., how banks work, how retail outlets adapt) that will make the systems work but given the fact that that these kinds of systems will encourage more purchasing by making it easier (and more impulse buying) it should make it possible to make the case for such systems.”

“I’m certain if we look back at credit card adoption we will see a similar adoption curve take place. Cash is already mistrusted by many affluent purchasers, so it will be a matter of time before all income ranges will purchase small and large items with devices.”

“All financial transactions will take place on personal devices, there will be no more wallets.”

“The momentum of smart phones and smart devices, online banking, low cost per transaction technology and the 30-and-under set’s near-total reliance on wireless and comfort with online security will drive us in this direction.”

“This may be coming, but it will take longer than eight years to get there.”

“There will be substantial changes in money exchange over the next decade, but I don’t see traditional credit cards going away quite just yet. I see an adoption, but a gradual adoption, of smart-device swiping for transactions. This is an area where there may be a split among the population (at least in the United States), where wealthier Americans are more comfortable with the technologies involved, but that there will still be significant portions of the populations who still use cash, at least for certain types of transactions. I don’t see this as being only a buyers’ issue, either; some sellers will also still want to go the cash route for transactions, as well.”

“The negative case is obviously false. Europeans have no trouble embracing mobile device payments. Americans have no problems ignoring any security implications.”

“Too many fears. Too many bugs. Too many hackers.”

“Cash will be a thing of the past. Consumer transactions will be facilitated completely through NFC and credit card. Cash transactions are already becoming a rarity and now even fast food chains and tollbooths accept credit cards for micro transactions. My locally owned bagel show is already accepting NFC payments. Makes accounting easier and eliminates petty theft.”

“The future of money outlined in the first scenario is much closer than 2020. Of course, cash will still be in our pockets—until someone thinks of a way to accept credit for illicit purchases (or people who wish to exchange services under the table). For the most part consumers will accept machine transactions until someone is able to heist a large sum of money electronically.”

“People have moved away from using cash in a lot of situations. Devices that let us make purchases easier will be adopted.”

“It is not only the trust factor; it is the cost of using such services online. Bank of America, as many know, has introduced a $5 monthly fee to use a debit card. Other fees significantly raise the cost of using new technologies. Prices go up while the benefits remain constant or diminish relative to the price. Security is another factor. Identify theft continues and the fear raised by the government about privacy, data protection, and misuse of account information will deter many from adopting new ideas and be willing to pay for them.”

“We’re already seeing this happen today.”

“If security improvements grow with technology developments we will see an extinction of the traditional wallet. However, it seems that the people who are capable and interested in cracking technology related security are the always a few steps ahead of the ones creating the programs. It will take more than ten years to kill off the wallet.”

“I wish I could vote for number two, but I think number one is more accurate. The sea change that is occurring in the use of personal devices will definitely impact spending. It all seems like one big Ponzi scheme somehow—no money, just credit, but maybe we’re going back to a moneyless society.”

“This could go either way. Are people going to get skittish about Citigroup tracking their every move (not to mention Occupy Wall Street and the recent news about US banks charging for debit card usage)? Or are they going to be relieved that they don’t have to carry cash anymore? I hope that it’s the latter; that people become more independent about their spending habits and use cash (or barter). Who knows what politician/corporation will push us into a second great depression. Still, it’s novel and fun and easy for people to just swipe or scan something. I think if the economy recovers it will be the first answer, which I chose; and if people realize that this economy isn’t really working for anyone, we’ll go back to cash and other non-credit transactions.”

“Technology will take over the money world, people will use smart-devices to make purchases. The positives of this will be less problematic with fraud and identity theft.”

“Difficult to answer—there will be adopters but there will still be a segment of the population that will not have embraced fully the technology—probably 20% or more.”

“I think already option one, above, is rapidly growing. Recent Wall Street protests signal a move away from a credit card/greed and an acquisition model of finance.”

“While I think many people will embrace the convenience of smart-device swiping, there is a large poverty-stricken population that may be unable to pay for goods in such a manner.”

“2020 might be a little too soon, but I still think we are definitely headed in a wallet-free, card-free direction. People are attracted to the ‘convenience’ of the internet and technology for everyday tasks, and this is one of them.”

“Near-field capabilities will spread but the extent of network and equipment required for small retailers to adopt it globally will take longer than eight years to replace credit cards.”

“We already see economic and business needs to shift to electronic transactions. The rapid adoption and embrace of smart phones will make this accessible to all but the most elderly of the population.”

“The concept will most probably prevail whether the card is ‘swiped’ through one’s hand-held device or other means. Also, cash will probably not disappear completely, but it is possible to envision that it will be less in use. This may as well happen in the developing countries sooner than in the more advanced ones.”

“Based on the rapid adoption of mobile devices across the globe, especially in the third world, I think by 2020 there will be incredible adoption of digital money and transactions. There will always be security issues, just like counterfeiting cash and swiping credit card numbers are problems, but the monetary system will adapt.”

“Studies show that people are actually more comfortable with companies invading their privacy than they might squawk about. For that reason and the increasing comfort (and dependence) on plastic and PayPal, I think it’s totally reasonable to think that people will trust and rely on personal hardware and software for handling monetary transactions. Hello, direct deposit. I think more needs to be done, actually, to let people know when they’re sharing secure information and when they’re sharing that information (something that definitely needs to be addressed is advertising companies’ use of cookies), but I think that’s more of an educational issue than something that a majority of people are going to wake up and take an umbrage with. E-banking is just so easy, and that’s all that most folks will care about.”

“One caveat: cash will continue to recede from ubiquitous use, but established payment methods will remain, such as Visa, Mastercard, and debit.”

“Smart people are working on the security issues. Elderly and some segments will be slow to adopt all-digital-all-the-time, so I believe the phase-in will be slower than 2020. That’s only nine years from now—not even time for an entire cohort to pass.”

“In advanced countries, fears about cybersecurity vulnerabilities and an overall uncertainty about the economy will tend to lead people to be conservative in their financial practices. However, I believe that in emerging and developing economies, the logic and efficiencies of e-currency will displace traditional cash and electronic financial transactions.”

“People will still use cash and cards but most transactions will be through smart-devices. We are already so close to that today. Companies are also all working hard to overcome the security issues that have been presented.”

“Money will still be in the form of debit/credit cards, checks, and cash. If everything turns to smart devices there is huge risk involved if the technology has glitches or fails. Not everyone fully trusts technology that deals with money and their future. A positive to switching to this type of monetary technology is that we will save paper/trees, it would be easier to track money and manage it, and it would be easier to handle as an individual.”

“It is inevitable. However, fraud will continue to rise.”

“By 2020 most people will have embraced and fully adopted the use of smart-device swiping for purchases. Issues that will impact the rate of acceptance of this outcome include the incentives enterprises may use to influence peoples level of comfort (insurance against loss, ‘bonus’ points accrual, price point discounts, etc.). There is also the issue of smart-device costs—will the cost of the devices be subsidized (free if more than x is spent per/month/year)?

“Perhaps scenario one is where we are headed, but I do not believe it will happen by 2020. This kind of sweeping financial change will take much longer.”

“There will definitely be an increase in Americans spending their money as described above. I certainly don’t see cash or credit cards going obsolete though.”

“As long as there are hackers, there will be many people (majority?) who are afraid to mingle their personal money with technology.”

“The only issue is security and that will improve as more adapt to online monetary transactions.”

“The future of money will be smart-device swiping, but it will not occur by 2020. The pace of change with regard to people’s money I would guess is much slower than anything else. As the saying goes, ‘A fool and his money are soon parted.’ “Thinking about myself personally, I would also have to say that I would be slow to embrace smart-device swiping myself. What little pennies I do have, I want to make sure I keep and not have it stolen by a cyber crook.”

“This change is already occurring and will only accelerate.”

“Poverty and privacy will ensure that cash remains a form of payment. Credit cards may well go the way of the dodo bird.”

“Much will be done in cash because credit card transactions will carry fees, every purchase will be subject to bank percentages that merchants will shift to consumers. By 2020, people may just be starting to have large amounts of disposable income if tax policies change and we get a grip on the mortgage crises aftermath. People will be writing checks and using cash, though, because faith in banks will never be restored.”

“It is difficult to choose between the two extremes. Differing parts of the population will have preferences. There will be diverse groups, and not all in the population will gravitate toward the same preference. There will be some who readily adopt smart-device swiping. And there will be some who never trust technology when spending money.”

“Security is still a high barrier to these forms of payments and consumers want to keep greater control over purchases though traditional means.”

“Security will continue to be an issue, and people will act accordingly.”

“We have already made major steps in this direction just by using banks and converting our activities with banks to the Internet over the years. This is the next logical step. Just another line in the progression that started with bartered goods as payment.”

“It’s too problematic, too susceptible to fraud. Fraud is a bigger concern, both to institutions and to consumers, than convenience.”

“Cash and credit cards will mostly disappear by the next decade, but likely not in the United States, given our distrustful and traditional population. Remember, we can’t even get rid of the dollar bill or penny, unlike Canada and the European Union. Also, it is not so much a technological issue, but one in which the banks will be leading the way—it depends on their profit motive, of course, not what is the most efficient method. Further, in this down-turning economy, it seems unlikely that people will give up even more ‘control’ of their cash and credit cards.”

“Money will be digital and interest amounts will be exorbitant, so much so that it will be impossible to pay your debts in your life time.”

“I live in a country where personal checking is almost non-existent; until fairly recently, cash was used for everything, even large purchases. Now we use credit cards and smart cards for almost everything, although I still pay my rent in cash! I buy online on a regular basis and can’t imagine going back to a society that uses cash. I can only see that it will change over to smart devices in the future. I do wonder about those who are floundering and will flounder in the newer systems.”

“Credit is a key element in the economic environment, thus credit cards will still rule.”

“The one caveat to this may be the global economic crisis. Beginning in 2008, the world truly changed and is still reformulating what economic stability will look like. Read The Next Convergence by Michael Spence for an interesting viewpoint. This changing-world economic environment may impact people’s trust in ‘virtual money’ and increase a desire for real, tangible, and concrete ways to exchange wealth. This may be particularly true for the developed countries that will need to adjust to ‘sharing’ wealth with developing countries in ways we’ve never had to.”

“Despite the security concerns, using smartphones in place of a wallet will become so easy, people will follow the line of least resistance.”

“Credit cards as such could be dead before 2020. Merchants, in particular, want to get rid of credit cards because of the very one-sided payment card industry standards that put all of the burden on merchants for protecting cards. With tools like Google Wallet for similar the merchant has no liability.”

“I can see money going digital, although I don’t like it. I honestly don’t think we will be the decision makers about this, the banks will. We did not need or want ATMs but now have them along with all the negatives such as cutting employment and so on. I have learned not to carry cash in favor of an ATM card, so I can see it going to the next step. I still don’t like it.”

“It’s a logical progression and well under way.”

“We’ll also see increasing theft and fraud.”

“E-wallets are appropriate for some consumers, but those who understand the security risks inherent in this—a large component of consumers—will not adopt this technology. I work in smart grid deployment and data mining, and the security risks are astonishing. The risks are hideously downplayed by smart grid vendors, who only wish to make as much money as they can before the flaws are exposed. I despair every day about this. Also by 2020 the Internet will suffer from major intrusive foreign attacks, and e-money will become less attractive as internet-based systems are under attack: food distribution, banking, transportation, and telecommunications.”

“I think in the United States people will always be resistant to pervasive online payments. By 2020 there will be more mobile transactions, especially in Asia, but not all over.”

“I hardly write checks now and rarely use cash. Of course, if banks continue to gouge their customers for using debit cards and ATMs that were developed to save banks money, things might be different.”

“While I think technology can solve many problems, human ingenuity will keep pace with advances in security. Therefore, there will continue to be too many security issues with smart-devices for them to be sufficient resolved in ten years to be able to replace cash and credit cards.”

“On one hand people often will give up security for convenience. If there are very many well-publicized incidents of fraud or easy exploitation of the near-field devices used for purchasing transactions it will slow down the adoption of that technology, but probably not kill it off. It may just take longer. As an example, e-commerce over the internet took some time to be adopted by the public. And, banking online was seen as a large risk when it first began, but the confidence in those transactions rose over time and the convenience of using them was so high that the public eventually embraced them. Now, they are commonplace. You are viewed as a Luddite if you don’t purchase things online or do online banking. Cashless and credit card-less transactions will become commonplace by 2020.”

“Checks replaced paper and coin; credit cards and electronic transfers have been replacing checks. Why wouldn’t we assume smart-device swiping?

“This isn’t a technical issue. This is a matter of where contractually the risk will be assumed when these transactions go wrong and when identity theft becomes increasingly well suited to each method/technology.”

“While I like this concept a lot, I believe it won’t be applied to that extent.”

“Cash already is disappearing. Credit cards may take a bit longer than ten years to disappear but they will go, too.”

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