Going cashless should be our future

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You have been following an online debate in a current affairs forum about the promotion of the use of
electronic payment. Should we ditch cash? Write a blog entry telling whether we should go cashless.

Going cashless should be our future

Since the issue of Octopus Cards in 1997, a trend of craving for electronic payment has started. Hong Kong was once hailed as an innovative city at that time but it’s no longer the case as the developments of e-payment in other countries or regions have surpassed us for long. For our own sake, and to catch up the world, why do we still insist on using cash but not going cashless?
First of all, using electronic payment brings us HUGE benefits. Have you ever been stranded by the situation that all of your friends are holding a $500 note when you are going to pay the bill for a meal? We all die hard when dealing with the change issues. However, with a mobile phone, we can get rid of the struggles. Taking WeChat Pay in China as an example, not only can a bill be paid with just a tap, friends can also settle their debts with just a scan on a QR code. No change. No coins. No calculations. How wonderful! Together with the ubiquity of smartphones in Hong Kong, the development of electronic payment can set off at a rapid rate, making our purchases and management of money more convenient.
Apart from bringing us tremendous convenience, using electronic payment can help us keep pace with the global trend, of which Hong Kong was once the head. Regrettably, it seems that Hong Kong is too complacent of the ‘innovation’ of adopting Octopus Cards. We should be more alert to the worldwide development of e-payment which people of other countries have already embraced. The mainland China is definitely standing out, with almost all shops, including vendors and so on, using WeChat Pay, and the prevalence of Taobao, where people use Alipay as a method of payment. With the title of a world city, Hong Kong, however, cannot follow the trend even though a fertile ground has already been provided. What a SHAME! Therefore, we should welcome electronic payment so as to clinch the title authentically.
Some may, however, raise their eyebrows over the security and privacy issues worrying that hackers may get the passwords of our accounts and steal our money. As in the early November, a travel agency, WWPKG, was hacked and the information of customers and their credit cards was captured. The company was blackmailed, stirring up concerns over cyber security. Yet, it is not a valid criticism against the security of electronic payment. Actually, before we can successfully pay for our bills, we need to be approved by using our fingerprints, which are impossible to be replicated. Moreover, the registration steps of some e-payment systems require users’ Face IDs as recognition. With the reliable biotechnology, I’m quite sure that hackers unlikely have the chance to get access to our electronic
wallets. Furthermore, the government has been stepping up its efforts on the publicity on cyber security to enhance public awareness, further reducing the probability of getting people into troubles as they are on guard.
All in all, Hong Kong has everything ready but just a small step forward. There are conspicuous signs that Hong Kong people are welcoming electronic payment as more and more of them are using Apple Pay or Google Wallet. The future, which means a bright, easy and convenient life, is actually foreseeable. And so, why don’t we go cashless when the benefits are crystal clear? You know what you should choose, right?