Write an entry to an online forum to discuss whether we should go cashless.
‘New Fashion’, Go Cashless!
Nowadays, Hong Kong is a well-developed international city. A heated topic grows while Hong Kong is developing rapidly. Should we go cashless? Some say that octopus card is a way of electronic payment. Indeed, it is, but the point is should we go even further? For me, the Octopus card is already widely used. We just have to go one step further. Therefore, I would say we SHOULD.
First of all, Hong Kong is lagging behind and we should catch up with the world. Hong Kong, as an international financial centre, has a lot of favourable conditions that attract businessmen to set up their companies here. In fact, we are becoming less competitive as other region like many cities in the mainland China when many aspects of the globe are improving rapidly, especially in term of technology. Electronic payment is more common and preferred in advanced places as all steps can be done with smartphones. The level of technological development is often taken into account when businessmen consider whether they are going to set up their companies in a place. While some countries like China are practising e-payment, we are still using the Octopus card and credit cards only, which have been introduced for more than 2 decades, or even cash in some shops. We are still standing in the same spot when others are running forward. If this goes on, I guess we’ll have to say we ‘used to’ be an international financial centre. Indeed, e-payment is good for our economic development. In order to keep the status and image of being a high-class international financial centre, we should go cashless.
The second reason of going cashless is that e-payment not only brings benefits to our economy, but also to individuals. It is very convenient to go cashless. In the old days, before you left your home, there must be someone asking you if you had your wallet with you. As time goes by, you are asked if you have brought your smartphone instead of your wallet. Smartphones have become so important to our daily life and we should make use of the smart device even more wisely. By going cashless and finishing all payments with our smartphones, we enjoy the convenience and quickness. Well, have you ever come across the awkward situation that you have a lot of cash in hand after purchasing, and you are trying to tidy it up as fast as you can while others who are lining up are staring at you because you are disturbing them? This is not uncommon in Hong Kong. In Hong Kong, efficiency is very important. Time is money. We do everything quickly. We walk fast, we eat fast, we buy fast and so on. Using e-payment is so convenient and fast. Everything can be done with just a smartphone. This best suits our lifestyle. Trust me, we should go cashless as it is FAST and convenient.
Yet, some say that privacy and security issues are their concerns, saying that they may lose their private information if their accounts are hacked. Don’t worry. These problems can actually be solved. In fact, we can take some countries where e-payment is commonly used as a reference. For example, finger prints or face IDs are needed to log in the account. This is how others deal with the security and privacy problems. As technology keeps improving, security and privacy issue will not be a problem. It’s also all about the caution and attitude of people. When there are more promotions on e-payment and more publicity on using e-payment carefully, people will stay alert. So the problems can be solved and we should not sacrifice the big benefits brought by e-payment, just owing to unnecessary worries.
To sum up, e-payment brings benefits to both our city’s economy and each of us. So why don’t we go cashless when it is a real blessing, with even the only FEW risks which can be prevented?
Chan Yik Hei