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Will Cash Be Obsolete?

December 14, 2010

I think the only time I see anyone with a wad of cash is when I’m in Las Vegas. We know street vendors in NYC and cab drivers have the cash but seldom do you see them flashing it around like gamblers in Las Vegas. My goal has always been to have the thinnest wallet on the planet. And that would mean that I only carry one credit card, my driver’s license, health insurance card and debit card. That’s it, 4 cards. Pictures of my kids, the latest favorable fortune cookie tag, business receipts from 2 weeks ago and the condom from 1985 that I still carry hoping to get lucky will all have to be left at home or the office.Wad of cash

By 2020, the use of cash is likely to be a rarity. It won’t disappear entirely. Individuals and businesses will still prefer to use bills for some transactions, if only in the underground economy…for illicit activities or to escape paying sales, income or other taxes. But electronic transfers will rule commerce. Imagine buying a coffee using your fingerprint or paying for groceries by scanning your own bar code. Already, only a fourth of retail transactions are cash. In 2007, businesses paid 74% of their bills by check. This year only 57% did, and the numbers keep falling.

Certainly cash may be one more item that becomes a collectible. At GAI (www.gunwel.com) we take all forms of currency for our services. It is that time of year when we offer year-end tax reviews (for free!) so give us a call at 212-979-6830 or stop by for a visit. See you soon!

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