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Expert: Charge cards are out - soon your fridge will pay

Cash payments will stick around longer than plastic cards, according to expert Pekka Puustinen. According to him, we’ll always need money that we can see and touch, while these days better technology means credit and debit cards have little to recommend them.

Henkilö maksamassa luottokortilla kaupan kassalla.
Image: Yle

Traditional payment cards may be discarded from wallets countrywide within five years, according to University of Tampere business studies professor Pekka Puustinen. Speaking at a Bank of Finland payment forum on Monday, he said that credit and debit cards are simply not secure enough to be a favoured payment method in the future. Therefore, other forms of payment will overtake them.

“These days we have such an awful amount of different cards in our wallets that I don’t see it as the best, let alone the most secure way to pay,” says Puustinen. “Today’s technology provides us with a lot of much safer ways to pay our bills.”

My fridge will pay...

According to Puustinen,  card payments could be replaced by myriad other methods and equipment in the future.

“It could be via a phone, a clock or a car. Payment could even occur, for example, via your fridge. The refrigerator orders milk if you run out, then it also takes care of the payment,” Puustinen hypothesizes.

“Of course, a contract is in the  background,” he adds. “It could be a card agreement, but the card itself is not valuable.”

The expert believes that the days of paying by card are nearing their end and that cards will be obsolete within a few years.

”It depends how quickly Visa and Mastercard stop their cards,” he says. “But, indeed, we’ve already had a completely different situation for the last five years.”

Cash still has currency

However, for Puustinen, cold, hard cash and coinage has a rosier future.

“Cash costs businesses tens of millions in expenses, but I think it will still remain as a relic of the past,” he states. “We’ll always need to have money that we see as concrete.”

While cash may not be necessary for trade, and is actually generally unimportant when it comes to large scale transactions, for sentimental reasons it seems it's one old fossil that will outlast plastic.

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