Is South Africa moving towards a cashless society?

By Staff Writer
In the latest Justmoney Poll, users of the website were asked the question "Could you live without cash by using your cards and the Internet to transact?" The response was a resounding yes, but most admit there are a few aspects in which cash still remains king.

While almost a quarter responded by saying "I'd definitely manage", 44% of the respondents said that they'd get by "most of the time."

22% of those polled answered with a resounding yes, leading Justmoney.co.za's General Manager Andy Gilder to believe that while cash remains an everyday part of many South African's lives, there are those who find no need for cash at all.

"While the informal sector remains a cash only realm, there are more and more places in which debit and credit cards are fast becoming an acceptable, even preferable form of payment. Five years ago, paying for petrol with anything other than cash meant getting hold of a garage card -often resulting in more monthly fees and an additional card for your wallet. These days, almost all petrol stations accept debit cards as payment and many are now accepting credit cards as well."

"Granted, it will be some time before street vendors begin to accept swiping as a means of payment, but with more and more formal vendors accepting various forms of electronic payment, the possibilities for a cashless society are increasing by the day."


The full results of the poll were as follows:

When asked the question "Could you live without cash by using your cards and the Internet to transact?" the more than 500 respondents to the poll answered in the following way:

 

  • 22% said I'd definitely manage 
  • 44% said "For most of the time"
  • 8% said "I'd never manage"
  • 9% said "I've never thought about it"

 

Gilder cites increased safety and, as far as debit cards go, an improved form of budgeting as two of the primary benefits of a society without cash.

The poll coincides with the launch of Gocashless.co.za, a Justmoney and Visa initiative which sees Gilder live for the next three months using only his debit card for every transaction he makes.

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